The Way It Works, Or Doesn’t

the way it works, or doesn’t,
one piece of evidence points to another, on and on, even as the search
changes and the seeker
becomes another person, then another;
but not all things are clues, some things just are,
they don’t say anything, won’t go anywhere,
your breath on my skin was not a portent, but I didn’t know that until later,
until it was too late to stop moving,
until it was too late to stop crying;
some things we take along with us, half carrying, half dragging,
their screams incoherent, their eyes streaming, bright like dying stars,
by the time I realised I had found myself,
by the time I figured out why there were no footprints to follow,
by the time I came back to where I began,
where it began,
my head was pounding,
there were welts on my soul, the shape of your fingers,
something you had said was still a bleeding wound;
your walking away was not a sign,
not a symptom of an incoming deluge,
my clothes were wet,
there was water in my shoes,
there were no clues, not even rain,
not even a ripple,
some things just are,
some days, it doesn’t work,
we cannot walk on water.

39 thoughts on “The Way It Works, Or Doesn’t

  1. Wow. We are so fond of the narrative form of cause and effect, we forget it’s not the only way to make sense. Things could accumulate into a layered mass, for example, and even if one thing seems to cause another–its a false clue–as you say, and even a way to ignore that “we cannot walk on water.”
    I love the directness of this poem, it’s truth and its examples–or its examples that make the truth visible.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We often push ourselves to the limit and fail but that is the whole point; testing ourselves to see what we are capable of and is one of the better facets of humankind.

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  3. Oh, some things just are, indeed. We have a tendency of looking for clues, to make a sense out of this disorder, to realize the exact source of this deluge of emotions. This is so powerfully evocative — it made me wonder of all the times we are left disoriented by a prevailing situation in life and nothing to make of it.
    I admire the strength behind these words which comes from acknowledging those vulnerabilities.

    -HA

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There is so much heartbreak in this, raw and almost all consuming. But there is strength in acceptance that a situation is unsalvageable and that’s something.

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  5. You have such a deeply philosophical approach to the nuances of human relationships which never fails to touch a chord in my consciousness. The approach to the final line is just brilliantly paced.

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  6. Sometimes, no sign can ready us for what is or warn us about what will be… Sometimes, things and people (and how we relate them and them to us) just is… Indeed, “not all things are clues, some things just are”.

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  7. Rajani, this poem was so rich..I had to read it 3 times! It’s visceral and extremely powerful in its imagery. I nodded at the’ things we take along with us, half carrying, half dragging’.. . The ending was sublime …and I have to agree, there are those days when it’s just not possible to walk on water. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

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