Cell-death

The doctor declared.
With unshaken, irreversible conviction.
The little, red, plastic cover
Lying loosely on the glass half-filled
With water, in the clinic smelling of antibiotics
Shook and trembled, every time
He placed his knowing hands
On the table.
“Parkinson’s”, he declared,


Turning through pages of codified test reports.
In my mind, half-filled with faith,
Prayers rose to the brim and spilled over.
“Let him take the words back.
Let speech be reversible.”

 

When my mother served me dal that afternoon for lunch,
I noticed how her trembling hands spilled
Some of the boiled lentils.
The floral, embroidered table-cloth
Handed down to her by her mother
Created some more patterns of fluids –
Traces that’ll remain even after the first wash.
I tried hard not to notice
How her face blanked out
As if her gaze can see through time;
Past, present, future – all permeable, penetrable –
In one directionless gaze.
While her limbs trembled
And the lines and twitches in her face were being wiped out,
Some nerve cells were dying too. Unnoticed.
With every passing minute,
Cells carrying memories were disappearing,
Every waking moment was becoming a testimony
To this violence of erasure,
While I recorded.
In pages after pages of journal and bad writing.
All her remaining memories
Racing against time.