Regrets

They linger like ghosts

in dark corners,

behind the potted birds of paradise

decorating the corner of your study;

and even when the living room

is brightly lit by the sunlight

coming in through the picture window,

they sit silently on that worn lawson sofa –

gaunt, with blank eyes

that stare at the black and white abstract

you hung above the fireplace.

They keep you company in your empty kitchen

as you eat alone on your four-person dining table.

You see them standing in the corner

by the towel rack

when you look at yourself in the mirror after your bath.

And they blend in with the cold in your bedroom,

as you close your eyes tight

and bury yourself deeper

under the covers, hoping

they don’t visit you in your dreams.

Despair

It begins with an itching

that one cannot relieve by scratching

the outer layer of the skin;

it crawls, and spreads silently

from the mind to the smallest crevice of the heart

and hitches a ride with your blood cells

along with oxygen,

incorporating itself into the metabolic process.

Sometimes, it becomes a permanent resident

and gnaws at the last threads of hope

stitching you together.