A Psalm of the Vain

Juairia Haque Mahi

Contains mentions of forced marriage, domestic abuse, and mental breakdowns.
Reader discretion is advised.

People don’t have enough time
To espy the teen girl,
Daily conning at the last bench for two hours or three,
Sweating it out, biding time
to catch the bus before other competitors,
Striding or trudging, or lack thereof,
Only to prove herself worthy enough to her father.

One day, her father held her palms
and handed her to another guardian’s arms.

A Psalm of the Vein illustration for Mahi

People don’t have enough time to notice
The youth who got castigated;
He who harked himself getting labelled ‘selfish’
For slinging his hook from a place
Where he pushed mountains to set.
In return, they choked him to death. 

The conniving youth stood up firm
and leaned against the tiles,
Shrouded his face by both palms,
To conceal his grimace.
He held ajar the door knob,
and shot through the pitiless quod,
with scant resources to even run a month.

People don’t confer enough with each other
About the loving man who sold his darling for a few lakhs,
Only to buy a piece of land
To show off his skint brothers.

His darling stands alone at night on footover bridges,
To pay off the debt with the highest interest,
Reckoning the mean target,
Only to return to the same man
Who has already turned his back
On the “debauched” darling.

People take no notice of the schizophrenic man
Who sets forth History and Literature
At the top of his lungs,
Round the clock on his rooftop,
Hallucinating a space filled with audiences.
His kindred, orthodox fanatics,
ween him to be possessed,
and believe that he must be immured.

One night, actuality split.
He tugged off bricks
and hurled at the glasses and tins—
towards people who got peed off by his harangues;
Monologues of Shakespeare;
Sermons of sins, eternity, and theism.
His grizzled father, effing and blinding,
came to cumber his psychosis. 

The man lifted a brick
and heaved at his father.

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