I was born of a matchstick
My mother and her stove are my first memories
and the strongest
so much so that I trust smoke more than I trust human beings,
more because it fades with a grace
I was born
just before my mother slipped into a coma
not the usual kind
but the one in which you are conscious and walking around
and no one knew
she fainted on Thursday, the 6th, and never woke up,
In the coma, she painted butterflies on my stomach
and cowdung on the walls.
She made kheer for me
even on the days she counted her sleeping pills.
She made bridges for us to come back
and we kept on burning them,
gradually and even ceremoniously sometimes.
We were proud of crossing the river,
She was afraid of becoming one.
And she decided to overturn a bus one night but relented,
She remembered all the helpline numbers
but never called any.
As I said, in the coma, she made magic for us
and made tea for my father’s friends and love for him.
She made love
and I shouldn’t talk about it anymore
As I shouldn’t about the fire
that has engulfed me ever since
or the coal lumps I found in her sandook.
You should touch your mother’s feet
and put her name behind yours if you are the activist type
but you shouldn’t talk about your mother’s eternal coma
and the love she made
and the love