Beds – by Harnidh Kaur

by TBLM

Four corners of a sheet tucked in haphazardly, little island of certainty for when the floor wobbles and the roof stares down at your eyes, a game of blink with stakes too high to forfeit – empty eggshells of unmade memories, ghost limbs curved into clammy folds, piled upon each other, want braided into need, tied with a ribbon-wisp torn off cotton sheets.

This is where screams are cushioned by pillows stuffed with dreams, where babies roll off the sides with such soft grace, tumbling over warnings, where hurt is first felt, an angry, red vision that floods nights, fevered breath and salt burning cheeks as it cuts a canyon of unsaid words, tectonic plates under lips shaking and shifting till their corners tighten a little permanently.

Crumbs of stolen midnight meals hide between sheets, here, digging into skin starved for them, as blood seeps between knots, stubborn stains holding on to lost lovers and banished thoughts, pale pink maps charting down histories of talks pulled out from teeth clenching on words, grinding them to a poultice meant to be stuffed into open wounds, licked till they scab over and prepare to heal.

Bodies lay willingly, then with ease, later resignation, and finally, spent and used, well-worn, hard-lived, scarred with years of fabric pressed up against skin still practicing its harshness; this is where wars are won between lips, and battles lost between bones that refuse to click into place, where cavalry is built out of promises broken down into sharp shards.