Gamification of Pain

Currency that survives the washing machine,
a crumpled scroll in the back pocket of jeans

that appends your flash fiction in the urban
legend. If you walk along the creases of the note,

suburb is the zip of an office bag, the road is a
tangled earphone within. It’s in the design of

the city that we walk on the blood and bones of
those who built it. Lonely yet mesmerizing like an

undeniable witch that sings and perches on
the welcoming urban metal branch, hides the

fangs within the musical beak. Hawker hides
the venom, light hides the alter ego of the night.

Gradually build the story of the inhabited valley
on her slippery skin. Let the miniature of wildlife

arrive from its dark burrows and rule. Read
streets like the pages of an overused novel. Look

into bags as if lured by the dark depths of verse.
In that dark, father is a wick with enough light for

wrecked children to look at leaderboards from
their hellholes, as if a ladder leading to hell.


There is a window in my face,
kept open to watch the sapling
that slowly rises up from mud,
bidding adieu to the grass and
morning dew, almost unnoticed,
outside the concern of the world.
It could spread arms any way,
head to the electric line or get
tangled in the passing grief of
the creeper. Seeing sand all
around, it could imagine itself
to be a hand pump in an arid
vastness, the trickle from its lip
quenching the sparrows thirst.
An easy chair for bored crows,
an engineering marvel for all
adventure-loving ants. That the
sapling will reach me is hope,
that the sapling will never reach
me is wisdom, that the sapling
reaches me amidst all havoc
is fruition of prayer. The eye
merely peeps; it knows its cage.