Bibhu Padhi

Living through the Pain

I do not know from where this pain
comes, but just now it is there, like love
or all that hatred means, and a bit
like greed, which likes to be everywhere.

All I know is I have to go through it
for I do not know how far I have to
travel with it. How far into the night,
how intensely, with how much blood.

I take all precautions to avoid it, but
it chooses its own minute, as if it knew
when I would least expect it, as when
I get up from bed after an afternoon sleep.

I prepare myself for every mode of escape,
every tablet, capsule, or liquid, following every
prescribed law and unprescribed habit, like
someone’s concentrated pressure of the feet.

I do not know where what I am traveling through,
or how it chose me to be a traveller through it,
except that when I was younger I boasted a lot about
how painless my life was, how much without a flaw.

Now, the prospect of further travel with it,
brings about an equivalent of fear, that it might
take away my day and night, for at the same time I have
travelled through sleep too. An erratic, ill-gotten sleep.