Wingword Poetry Prize 2020 is now open. Submit your poems today!

Dorm Solo

Utkarsha Anwekar

Look at your room:

Dust and cobwebs and atomies

Sunlight filtering through flappy curtains

Laundry on the chair and you on your feet

Co-existing with creatures you never

Thought you'd entertain…

For this isn't a house with Mom to nag

At you to clean it all every weekend.

I think missing home is more about

The comfort of knowing comfort exists

Where others want to care for you, clothe

And feed you with their own two hands;

And so you miss mostly the nostalgia

Of dutiful homely comfort.

But some of us—!

Some of us come from homes that strangle

The individuality out of us; wring it out

Upon the pure-white sheets as if

It's blood on the first wedding night as if

We had never felt like a person

With desires, desiring and desirable…!

And so spots of our blood

Make a horrid kaleidoscope on

The bedroom of our childhoods.


Look at your room:

Little gifts of love and life to remind

You that people care, have cared

For the bits and pieces you have strewn

Everywhere; the marks you leave

Will be footprints that nobody could steal

Today, tomorrow, or a hundred moments hence…

Twinkling fairy lights and bass boost speakers

Thumbed down pages and ink blot corners

All the wrappers from chocolates you relished

Whether because they were sweet, or because

The friendly giver was; and

All the other knick-knacks that make this room

Yours

Look at how mundane it all is…

Yet the dust makes new patterns every time

A new wind blows.

So remember:

One day you will look at all of this,

Through a lens today, and a screen after

And you will miss it.

That's when it comes to us all:

Home is a photograph

Picture: you gaining your wings

Recall: all the little things you fought for

Add: it all up to today

Where memory upon memory lies in the cracks

Of your bed against the wall

As you tried to fall asleep, letting your secret thoughts

Seep into the dead of a past night.


Look at your room:

And remember to remember.


Leave a comment