Soaking Midnight Salt


with mother woken up midnight by the push of the needle too tight

finds child besides caressing like she did him so many years back

sleep my child says she, roles have reversed says he

you sleep and so will I, only when I hear you snore says he

without any ado, she obediently shuts eyes to pretend the fakest snore


in such moments what one needs as a child is a knife

not to kill oneself mind you, but to comfort

to poke in and out, cut out, belly

at the centre like a cross, as the fruit-seller would do

to the guava with a masala clad knife

just so that even before you take a bite

your mouth waters, your taste is already spiked

such a knife dipped in dried salted tears perhaps

is what shall keep hysteria hiked up all night