I wrote ‘Into An Infinity’ the night before my 20-year old brother was to depart for Netherlands for his undergraduate education. All I’m gonna say is that I hope you read and just feel. Feel for your familiarized loved ones with whom you’ve spent moments that will turn into infinities when you would no longer be together. Just read and feel.
I wish I could say I couldn’t sleep last night;
I wish I could say the memories
Of our Chocolate-Chocolate games
On the burning C-59 roof,
Kept me awake.
I wish I could say the reveries
Of Imagining you with that girl you once liked,
Kept me awake.
I wish I could say that going grocery shopping that one time
(back when we used to live at Nani’s place)
When I was certain that ‘azaarbans’* are found at the drycleaner’s store
And so I dragged you to ask
and you returned fuming,
Kept me giggling awake.
I wish I could say I snickered instead of sleeping
Recalling that stadium pitch
Where you bowled nine wide balls in a single over
Exasperating even the batsmen.
I wish I was thinking about how insecure I’d feel
All those nights you’d hang out with friends
While I’d sit under the dim darks friendless,
Like I did last night.
I wish I could say I was thinking back
Looking forward to Eid days
When I’d get an excuse to hug you without that shy sentiment
That my hugs would othertimes make you feel.
(But now there won’t be any Eid in our festivities;
Now still again the stolid Moon
would accompany my you-less nights
But gleam a little dim – its hopes, less,
That you’d open the door to a wink at dawn).
But I slept soundly still last night.
Easy like a baby but uncrying,
knowing full well,
That the floor upon which you slumber
Would next night be summer cold.
I did not tell you in the car last night,
That I’m making a little infinity
Of this momentous moment
Where you as if the older brother
(because let’s admit, that role, you’ve always better enacted)
Are talking all these wiser talks
Telling me how to take care of our family –
Amma, sisters, Baba, me myself
(and at this point tears well up in my eyes)
But I was a fool such, yet again
Forgetting how Father Time and Space
Would mold in my memory every moment
Spent with you
Into an infinity.
Those gay men always after you;
Vicious fights where you’d throw the beard trimmer at me;
Leading your workout sessions, teasing your weaker strength;
Those ludo and Trump games you’d play with us four
From discussing parents behind their backs
To sharing secret ailments of the heart
I’d miss everything, especially your choice in
suggesting songs, selecting clothes,
And Your lame jokes
Goddamn your lame jokes.
(Also, don’t listen to Amma
Seduce as many girls as you like)
And do keep us like amulets over your heart
But never cease to make more infinities
After you sail out from the other side.
(I hope the Dutch treat you right)
*Azaarban in English means drawstring