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Last Night

by Shreya Ramachandran

Shreya Ramachandran writes a poem that attempts to capture the difference between life as it is and life as you sometimes wish it were. It explores the tension between trying to be fine and experiencing a tiny regret that comes with feeling an absence.

For two minutes last night, I thought I wasn’t alone.
It was some time after dinner, when my parents had
gone out and my sister also wasn’t home. They had
taken the car out I think because the front of the house
was empty, near the gate.

I was cleaning the house for some reason, I
remember I picked up the clothes from the
bedroom floors and I was putting fresh
soaps in the bathrooms and I put
mothballs in all the drawers.

I suddenly realised he was downstairs
because there was a noise in the kitchen,
A click, and the gas came on,
And I knew he was making tea.

When I went to the kitchen, his back
Was facing me, and he turned around,
With a big smile on his face, and asked
If I wanted some tea.

He passed my blue mug towards me
and was talking about this and that
while I wiped the dining table dry.

He closed the window and made sure
there were no gaps for the wind to
yell through.
He walked out before I realised.

I thought about following him
and saying something but it has
happened so many times that
I have no steam left to still smile
If he says no and goes away.
I didn’t know what to say.

Outside when he left, the gate
Was swinging open, there was the
Small concrete slope outside to the
Road, the white walls opposite,
The gentle stream of flowers and he

Drove away. I heard the sound
When I was safely inside, and then I
Went to the windows again to check
There were no gaps,
All fully closed.

Shreya Ramachandran is a writer and student from Madras, attempting to write honestly about herself and her world.
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