My sorrow, she comes to me, when lifeless apartment
complexes with windows like cardboard
boxes with holes punched in them replace the
honey chested, sweet, ashen-winged thrush
with her vivacious, polyphonic birdsong,
and echoes of who I’ve become are the only voices
in my mind, saying, “You’re forever failing, and falling into a
fading symphony…you’re forever falling, and failing like
a fading symphony…”
I wish I could let her go; I wish I didn’t hold her dear.
I wish I could see past her; I wish she didn’t stay.
But life has taught me that sometimes dog-eared, beaten
books give us the best knowledge, both reprimanding
and edifying us, both reproaching and elevating us
because of their sheer wealth of experience.
Suffering refines us in fires of grit, in a strong, stony forge
and then imbues us with the greatest of muses.
The women in my life come and go, and love’s both
lost and regained, but in the softest nights when no
one’s near, and I long for a hold or a hand to grasp,
my sorrow, she comes to me, and she’s here to stay.
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2020)