A Box


There’s a box
Hiding in a corner of my room
A little rough on the edges
But so familiar as I hold it in my hands
Oh! It’s locked
Where’s the key?
Is it inside the left drawer of my diaphragm
Or is it right above it?
Or is it lying somewhere in age 7
As I peep through the cylindrical vessel
The Kaleidoscope of Colour
Floating like cotton candy suspended in the air
Whisps of sugar and rose
I giggle as I throw the petals around the house
At age 15, I gather the ruined flowers
In a square envelope
Addressed to better days 
Screaming in the hollow room
Grabbing whatever I can
Throwing pebbles at the incoming waves
Crashing me at 18
Sanitized breath and piercing fluorescent lights 
Glaring at me 
But I can’t see
I am at the centre of the sphere
Diving deeper and deeper into no man’s land
Trudging my way up to 24
Everything is okay, everything is new now
There’s a long parallel road ahead
With every step forward I stumble into a crossroads
Questioning my every tooth and nail, cell and soul
Am I good enough? Can I survive here?
I run
And run aimlessly through the forest 
And in a flash, I trip and fall into the pit of 26
It’s pitch-black
No shapes no colours
No air to breathe
No ground to hold
No humans in sight
Only dirty gauze and needles on the bedside table
I pause
It’s already 29 
I am paused
After roaming round and about, I finally found the key

Right where it was supposed to be
Twisting the key
Releasing the latch
The box opens
But it’s empty.

Jayanti Kandwal is a screenwriter and filmmaker hailing from Delhi. Narrative poetry is the avenue through which she expresses herself, fostering a profound internal dialogue and self-discovery. She is a kdrama encyclopedia, a book hoarder, and a supporter of all things chocolate.

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