A decade or so ago
When I had only just discovered
The piercing magic of words
And the library card I held
Like a delicate flower, a rose
Just waiting to grow old
I explored this interest at ease
Casual nights in bed
Stroking gently the curvature
Of the spine, immersed deeply
In the little caresses of my mind
Sniffing homebound babies of mine
Amongst them, I would soon discover,
A major setback for the rest of my life.

Hopping happily under the sun
Until one evening I returned
With a couple of comic books in my hand
What a fun weekend I had in mind
I flipped through the colours
A whole new world
Was starting to come alive
Pages I turned with a
Kind of softness in the tips
Of my fingers as they intertwine;
In a moment of no rationale
I wandered off to a land where
Every book I ever touched
Magically became mine
And so I picked my fountain pen
You see, I was now old
And scribbled my name in
Dark blue ink for evermore.

For the next few nights
My mind was a wreck
And my mouth sealed
With a fiery feeling of regret
My heart befriended anxiety
In all its ugly glory:
Sweaty palms, heavy breathing
And the guilt of my carelessness
What exactly was it that I fret
So much that I hid those comics
At the back of my shelf
The fear that somebody might come
After me was resting deep
I was coming apart worse than
A wrongly tied shoelace in the rain.

I often go back to that
It is jaded in narration
But equally horrific in my mind
Carefully stacked in the attic
Of experiences gone wrong
I keep it untouched and folded
For every time I do a wrong
Then I hate myself briefly and
Use this incident as a plot twist
For why I still haven’t come to peace
With my humanness and the idea
That mistakes and I can coexist.


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