Headache in a City

How can you write about headache
in a city without feeling lonely?
Your head burns in the heat
and you try to find solace in words.
You forget you’re not at home –
there is no wall clock hanging,
counting on your heartbeats.
Your head starts bouncing,
taking drifts like a drunk driver
unable to keep up with the road.

There is a traffic jam–
honking cars, motorcycles, rickshaws
filling smoke.
Some multiple voices echoing,
“What the fuck! Leave us our way.”
Your eyes ache a little
and you close them only
to have glimpse of home.
You remember home but
there is no home.
There is no way to it.
But you still make your way
through a crowd of security personnel
like a lost traveler.

The road is blocked ahead.
They are arresting people with headaches.
You become anxious–
try to swallow the pills,
but you remember, you’re not afraid anymore.
There, across the mountains,
your home burns in midnight fire
and miles away, your head is feeling the fire.
You’re lonely to remember home
amidst the headache
but still, you try to hope against hopelessness.
You close your eyes, only lazily,
forgetting the pain, and try to dream about home amid homelessness.

Mir Umar is a student of English Literature at the University of Delhi.

Featured image credit: Pariplab Chakraborty