They were ‘in love’ no longer,
things were horribly strained;
she had taken up with another man,
a good-for-nothing painter,
a painter so destitute,
he couldn’t afford a single brush,
let alone paints and easels.
He made imaginary paintings,
his hair unkempt and disheveled,
and a threadbare tote hanging over his shoulders.
But he made her feel something –
in a cold, unfeeling world,
he made her feel something;
in an unforgiving, barren world,
he made her feel something.
He was good-for-something.
Mr. Bajaj also spoke admiringly of him,
as if he were grateful
for having his spouse taken away.
Far from calling it quits,
they had neutralized the alliance –
they remained shackled for their children –
she dressed them for school,
he hurried them to school,
he picked them up from school,
she put them to sleep.
~ Swati Moheet Agrawal