The One Who Goes Away

by G

by Sujata Bhatt (1956-)

But I am the one
who always goes away.
The first time was the most –
was the most
silent.
I did not speak,
Did not answer
Those who stood waving
With the soft noise
of saris flapping in the wind.

To help the journey
coconuts were flung
from Juhu beach
into the Arabian Sea –
But I saw beggars jump in
after those coconuts – a good catch
for dinner. And in the end
who gets the true luck
from those sacrificed coconuts?

I am the one
who always goes away.

Sometimes I’m asked if
I were searching for a place
That I can keep my soul
From wandering
A place where I can stay
Without wanting to leave.

Who knows.

Maybe the joy lies
In always being able to leave –

But I never left home.
I carried it away
with me – here in my darkness
in myself. If I go back, retrace my
steps

I will not find
That first home anywhere outside
In that mother-land place.
We weren’t allowed
to take much
but I managed to hide
my home behind my heart.

Look at the deserted beach
now it’s dusk – no sun
to turn the waves gold,
no moon to catch
the waves in silver mesh –

Look
at the in-between darkness
when the sea is unmasked
she’s no beauty queen.
now the wind stops
beating around the bush –

While the earth calls
and the hearth calls
Come back, come back –

I am the one
who always goes away.

Because I must –

With my home intact
But always changing
So the windows don’t match
The doors anymore – the colours
Clash in the garden –
And the ocean lives in the bedroom.

I am the one
Who always goes
Away with my home
Which can only stay inside
in my blood – my home which
does not fit
with any geography.

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