i am just learning to enter barefoot; tone shuffling between nasal pop and deference, spending it trying to make friends with your kid, who seems to know everything except the time.

there was nightlife. wrapping paper. report cards. medals. rolexes. promotions. arrival. বিদায়। paper plates. one dish. Bhais first. Bhabis maybe later and only when the dishes had cleaned themselves.

i am waiting.
for you to take me to the point of no return. for you to walk me home like your girlfriends. goodbye eyes reining me in: this time i’ll be better, please, loud, enthusiastic, and quick.

Epilogue
for when you blame yourself.
suzie still pounds her desk in vindication. arjun still tries to kill me, and with good reason. the pool party on the 6th still gets broken up and the bur dubai station still takes fingerprints for non-violent offences. the men down every neighborhood we ever lived on still all stare up at me in participation, first, then disgust and lastly as drill. still can not afford that mortgage out on the house of your dreams auctioned with pink exteriors, jailgate verandas. your friends are still sorry for you for me. i am still the story to scare their kids. you are still staying together for your kids. you are beating them up. he is leaving you home. they are falling behind. you are falling behind. it’s getting tough. it’s getting better. it’s never getting to how you had hoped. and none of it will ever be your fault.

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