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I Have to Leave
I walk by the side of a road,
it has rained, and
the water has pooled on to the sides
forming little puddles of mud,
the filth of the city floats in it;
it bobs up and down
as the breeze passes over it gently.
More water flows to the side
but there is no room,
so it spills over and flows away to someplace,
all the filth that this city can’t make room for, stays.
The sand is squishy
underneath my feat,
it sinks a little as I step on it;
my shoes stamp their soles on the sand.
I amusedly watch.
It is drizzling,
my hands are in my jeans pockets,
a bag on my back,
and all my things in it.
I like to walk.
I don’t get very interested in the people around,
in watching them talk and do things,
work their daily chores,
outlive their travails or just live them out.
but sometimes I would see a cow limping,
with its hind leg crushed and mutilated,
and that would interest me.
or a dead dog lying by the side and its three little pups,
licking its head and scratching the limp body with their paws,
confused and all alone,
and I would stop and watch them for a while,
less with empathy and more with emptiness,
till the dusk gave in to the stars,
and the street lights at a distance flickered,
and something inside me
would tell me,
it is getting dark,
there is nothing here
to be found,
or to be lost,
or to be freed,
- that I have to leave
to escape something dreadful,
something grotesque and foul,
it was not something there on the road,
with the animal that died,
or the animal that was mutilated.
No, I carry it inside me, with me,
The feeling sinks in,
then I am in a rush,
and then I don’t enjoy walking,
then I just want to be within,
four cement walls and a roof –
the cage that I pay for every month –
as soon as my feet can take me,
I am all sweaty and
my shirt sticks to my back,
and before I reach that place,
I try to remember why the hurry
to a place where I am going now,
just a while back
that I was so desperate to leave.