The red t-shirt
The red t-shirt
That shabby old t-shirt
Lays awkwardly over the chair's nape.
The red you always loved is
Fading a little, everyday.
The dark smudge which used
To be your favourite chutney
Now sits unmistakably dull
On the front near the right sleeve.
I wonder if you still like the chutney
Enough to lick it off the t-shirt
Or if you spike it with extra spice
Whenever you are down.
It's worn out collar
Shows every attempt you made
Of tearing it, or when you tried
To pull me close, closer to your
The t-shirt that is now permanently
Crumpled on both sides because
Of all the times you held it
In your fist tight and swayed
As you helped yourself from falling
Whenever you laughed hard
With your perfect laugh
On my silliest of jokes.
What strikes me the most is
That thread which is half on the floor
Running over itself and buried under
The t-shirt as it falls off the chair.
The thread that got loose when
I wore it last, when I was with you
That thread you kept pulling on
Bundling it around your finger
Just the way you did with your hair
I remember the wetness of our eyes;
The coldness of the couch,
The emptiness of our lives,
The silence of the universe.
That thread kept coming out
And with it, the t-shirt
With every tug, I resisted,
Resisted to save that t-shirt
I kept trying to unravel you
When I tried to unravel
The thread from your finger
You kept your grip, and I never let go
Until it snapped.
Snapped at last and
Just like that, with all your strength,
Like the last gasp of oxygen
The person takes before drowning;
Made the t-shirt obsolete