Manavi Nagai


My room is foreign.
The bed.
The closet.
The couch.
All look odd and distorted.
And I, am not in my own body,
everything feels so wrong.

Things are missing.
Nothing is right.
If I don’t find something familiar,
I will.
I am.
Going crazy.

At school, I am numbed
everything is as it was before
and I get a second of relief
I can take a breath.
Until the next moment
I find myself again,
unable to fill my lungs as if someone is drowning me
in icy cold water
that feels like a thousand needles.
That one trigger,
that makes me plunge
back into those ghastly waters.

Sometimes it’s a person
or the slightest sign of sorrow or loss
that drowns me in the murky water, suffocating me
if someone dare mutter that word…
I am as deep as ever in the icy black waters
unable to come up for air.
As the water takes hold of me.
I fight and fight,
but they pull and claw at me,
until I finally give in.

Then I see someones’ hand
emerging from the darkness,
waiting for me to take hold.
He pulls me back up.
And in that moment,
he is my hero.

I keep reassuring myself
that he will be there when I return home from school
that I can embrace him
that I can look into those big round eyes
so pure, filled only with love
that he will lick my cheek
and that I will feel that little white body,
wriggling with joy in my arms.
Everything will return to the way it was.

I jab my key into the door
turning the lock with no hesitation.
But then I stop,
I can feel the bone chilling waters
lapping at my ankles
I know what is coming, but I wish and hope
with all my might that maybe, maybe…

I slowly open the door
and stand in the dark doorway,
The usual scurrying of feet coming from the kitchen
the gleeful yapping
the embrace.
Nothing is there.
Just the silence of a cold empty home,
there, waiting for me.
Once again, I am consumed in the dismal waters.

I guess I just can’t accept
that he will never come back
that I will never see him
until that one day in the far far future
when I will look into those irresistible eyes
when I will hear his heart warming bark
when I will be able to cradle that small white body
in my arms once again and nothing, not even death
will tear us apart.


Copyright © 2002-2011 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose © 2002-2011 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission.