In the Mornings

        I turn on all the lights in the house and keep my eyes closed.
        When no one is around, when I'm not invincible, but merely invisible, I see a sky made of Neapolitan ice cream, blending into each other, the horizons are just a dripping water color painting.
        A blue balloon full of the sun was floating around my head the other day; I kept looking at it, moving my head in circles as it orbited around my cracked crown. I popped it, shedding its skin, and out came a bubble.  I bit it and tasted chalk and hopscotch and diet cotton candy.
        I did not know this man I was talking to, but he looked at me like I was once his embryo. "Never let them see you cry," he said. I said nothing, because it was a silent acknowledgment.  Since then, when I cry, I bury my head in a pile of dirt and whisper to the ants that it's only raining.
        You know how when clowns look like when they are not dressed in their cosmetics, wigs, red bouncy noses, and Fruity Pebble suits?  I saw one the other day, trying so hard to be a bit funny, but every time he tried to spray me with seltzer water, all that came out were pine cones and it felt like my foot was asleep.  I shook his hand though and he smiled and said, "Once, I could make your head fall off." 
        Have you ever jumped over the ocean? Tomorrow, I will, in full stride above the boundless vert, with my tongue hanging out, like I was destined to drown. If I do, I will try my weakest to swim, and let the surfboards guide me to Disneyland.  I've always wanted to take a picture with Goofy. 
        In the mornings, just before the tea kettles clatter, I like to climb ladders, rung after rung, like I hear a bell ringing softly at the top, and when I arrive at the top, I feel like Mt. Everest was just a Hershey's Kiss, dissolving in my mouth. I never know what to do after that though, so I come tumbling down, as if I'm chasing Jack and Jill. 
        Tumbling, tumbling -- this is the gymnastics of it all. The pommel horse, the rings, and trampolines, the cartwheels and spring vaults -- this is such a lonely circus.  I should find that naked clown-less clown, and tell him, tell him that he does have a place to sleep.
        When it's time to wake up, I hibernate in a pocket of a sleeveless coat, hung in a closet somewhere over the rainbow.  It's nice. It's like closing your eyes when all the lights are on in the house.
Shome Dasgupta