Malind Manor’s back gate is stroked by a five foot six girl’s itching fingers
At 2:00 a.m. when good girls have gone to sleep
And the Chennai drunks are sleeping next to hungry, homeless dogs.
I’m hungry too, you wild thing.
It’s the name, how he calls it, so raw, said ‘Rao’, breathed “kiss me,” and I’m telepathic.
Light a cigarette. Say my name again.
Croon it. Lick it. The name. My name.
I stood there watching the window, the silhouette, the light switching on, off, on, off.
On and off and on and off
I care too much to come home to you drunk and crying
It sucks that I can’t tell you even when I’m high because you’re my best friend
And I’m a lonely loser
Who wants to break you up with the girl you love-
Mother always told me I was selfish. Like her.
It’s 2:15 a.m., the good girls have gone to sleep, and the dogs are barking
Next to the barfing drunk men
Who leer at my bare white legs with sleepy eyes and dizzy smiles
Let me in, please.
A Block, B Block, room number something oh four, two ‘o’ clock, three ‘o’ clock, I’ll be over here.
Watching. Dreaming. Loving. Brooding.
I know all your ten names, your mother’s two names, and the names you call your girlfriend
Good. Very good. Be like this.
Date her. Sleep with her. I’ll act like-
I’m fine.
It’s 3:00 a.m., the good girls have gone to sleep, and my bad girls are still partying in Pasha
I left the scene in search of you-
I’m in stockings and brown Steve Madden boots and cherry red lipstick and you just don’t want me
I’m upset and alone and lost outside your gate with my nude nails digging into the grills and you just don’t want me?
I’m stumbling with broken heels and a broken heart at midnight missing you
And you don’t see me outside
Open the gate, please.
Let me ring your doorbell, let me walk in and hug you, let me love you
Please let me love you. Please.
It’s 5:00 a.m., the good girls are waking up to read their books and the Chennai drunks are going home to their angry fat wives
Your lamp shade flickers and you’ve texted her good morning, but she hasn’t replied yet; she will, don’t worry
They didn’t let me in because my ID card said I was born on December 18, 1995
I promised them things I’m not proud of and they allowed me inside
I’m twenty, and I drink to forget you
So young, so messed up
It’s okay, don’t open the gate
It’s 6:00 a.m., the good girls go to Church, my bad girls leave the city with boys who got lucky, the Chennai drunks beat their kids, the buzz wears off
And you didn’t open the gate-
And I’m going home to Tambaram
Sober and sad.

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