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By Neeru Ayer
Cleanse your vocabulary of “tired,”
“exhausted,” and “weary.”
Don’t say them at all,
but especially not with “more.”
Don’t ask me if I need
a shoulder to cry on,
(in the same order).
Don’t offer me your sewing kit.
Can’t you tell from the clotted blood
on my fingertips?
Buy me a meal, but you can’t ask
why I eat so much, so less,
so fast, so slow, or
why my glass is always empty.
Remember the waterfall?
The rocks on which we sat, you and I,
guarding our friends’ bags, books, umbrellas, footwear,
And amidst the paraphernalia, you asked me
what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I don’t remember what I said then,
but you waited exactly four whole minutes
before gently tacking on your wife to my list.
I lost you that day, but more urgently,
I lost my list that day. Do you have it?
Don’t ask me if I’ve been made happy.
Why are your doubts rampant
when you follow me carefully on Facebook?
Happiness is energy;
it flows like the stream near that waterfall,
the one we sentineled, you and I.
When you see me after eleven long years,
my first words will be, “Don’t ask.”