Like an Intruder

These boxes
Open for my inspection
(I asked myself why)
You are another one of us
Now I can follow the lines of your ruin
Through colours splashed on paper

And so you smiled up at me.
So triumphantly.
These stories- they are you
But people change
But you are still you
But you changed too
I feel the surge of pity
You’re not alone but you’re lonely and
You don’t even know it

I have seen your hair disheveled.
Puffy eyes. Behind the sunrise
You are singing, laughing, playing, happy.
You’re mellow, moody, placid, murky.
I don’t know where you’ve been.
I don’t know what you’ve seen.
All I have are these strange, half-torn pages
I can take them anywhere, add flavours
You see. You’re not there anymore.
You are as much of a stranger to your memories
As they are to me.

I can ask you why you let them.
You will say, I was in a new place.
I was with people who mattered.
I wanted to remember.
But do you?
Where is the woman with the large bag
Hurrying past you, thinking about her emotionless marriage?
Where is the child who reached out for your hand
Wondering how wonderfully motive those large fingers were
I bet you don’t know. I bet you wouldn’t care.
Those stories are long gone. And so are YOU.

And me? Now I am just an intruder
I am looking at things that don’t belong to me
It’s as if I walked into a room after you were
Done making love and sheepishly
You are staring at me. Like at a mirror
At an image that wasn’t part of your experience
But now you have to answer her
And now you don’t know what to tell her.
There are no words.
I know. I can only just manage to stare back at you.
I am just an intruder
I don’t have the right to see these
It is almost like I have seen you naked.
Fleeting pieces of your soul in my hand
Tender, chaotic, broken.

These boxes.
They are your heritage.
Perhaps the only thing you will leave behind when you die
Reduced to cardboard with bits of life
And me? I am just an intruder
I’ll pass on my own too
But for now, I have this inheritance
And I can glimpse into your life
And listen to some of your music. Through
Your photographs.


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