WHITE PICKET FENCES by PRITHIVA SHARMA

You told me you had your first kiss at Papa Chinos by the bushes 
I was awestruck that a Papa Chinos exists where they have bushes 
 
I wonder what kind of a neighbourhood you grew up in
Was it a brownstone one, with houses lined one after the other 
or was it a scene from a sensation novel, with semi detached houses with white picket fences 
You ask me why can’t a brownstone apartment have a white picket fence, after all it is all about the sentiment 
Semantics.
 
We’re two different time zones, but we’ve tasted the same dust
We’re products of a generation that refuses to own up to its long history, we are attempts at re-writing that history 
 
What is our history if not a blank slate, to be filled by those who came before us 
our births were an emotion, one that probably every version of truth will feel 
because no matter how much we talk about relativism, it will never change the fact that history is absolute for those who read it 
 
We are not owners of our past, our past is a slave to them
We are, almost, the owners of our present 
which is destroying itself at a rate faster than the speed at which the meteor hit the earth during the age of the dinosaur 
We are the meteor hitting our own earth, it seems 
 
The thing with future is that it is finite
One day we will run out of our own future and one day we will give it away to someone 
maybe you’ll give it away to the girl you kissed at Papa Chinos, maybe I’ll give it away to the cigarette that hangs from my mouth 
 
I swallowed the sky once; I still feel a star trying to burst inside me
But my brain won’t let it because if it bursts, I’ll spit glitter and then the sad side of my brain will be forced to accept starlight which it doesn’t want to 
 
Our past, present and future is the same: a truth far removed from us 
we’re the Lacanian theory of mirror image; the only problem is we can’t see the mirror without it shattering 
 
So we try to hide our past in bedsheets, we try to find our present every morning when we make the bed and we try to ignore our future twirling pens in our lectures 
 
We try to hide our slavery under I love you’s and We’re over’s 
 
You say goodbye, you’ve to return to the bushes by Papa Chinos 
I say sorry, I couldn’t remove traces of a faded history from your palms
 
You catch a train to your slave country,
I tread back to my apartment, wondering if my neighbours will mind me building a white picket fence around it
 
Maybe your sentiments can save my present  


Prithiva Sharma is a 20 year old student from India, juggling English Literature, procrastination and future plans together. Her bachelors of arts degree is about to get completed, and this very moment she is wondering what should she make of her future. Also, obsession with Instagram is totally her thing.

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