Never turn your back while exiting a temple,
it brings bad luck. Almost a decade later
these words have resurfaced again
(mothers usually tend to show up unannounced)
only this time you are willing to explore
the undertones in that statement.
Back then, your understanding of the word back
was constricted. A patch of skin evenly spread
between nape and tailbone, partially visible without a mirror.
You didn’t know about organ systems —
the inversely proportional relationship between eyes and feet.
How each receding footstep shrinks a landscape
to fit your perspective.
The horizon gradually reduced to a hyphen, the skyline
compressed to resemble the cuts on your door key.
How fickle is this estrangement,
which grows with each receding footstep, how uncertain
the distance which occupies this ever-increasing space.
This is how grief operates.
It tricks you into turning your back
and instantly all this blur around you sharpens itself into focus,
every single strand of noise slowly evaporates.
All that is left behind is a sound
desperately trying to find its voice.
Silence couldn’t possibly be more inarticulate.
Anirban Dam is a twenty-something parasite who thrives on guilt-free sarcasm and gluten-free poetry. His physical form was last spotted in Bombay.