​After three whole months of suppressed sighs, subtle hints, snide remarks 

and secret exclamations of great exasperation,

My mother asked me

To clean my room

Now if you’re anything like me, 

A master procrastinator but also a neat freak with a violent fear of failure,

Then you’ll know, that this endeavour can throw up many combinations of differing situations with unpredictable possibilities-

Cathartic cleaning, new discoveries, or perhaps a space even more untidy than it was originally.

And it was bearing these in mind that at first I halted, 

but then decided to proceed undaunted, 

excited to see what exactly haunted 

the rears of the packed drawers that still taunted me with cubic units of space I needed but could not fill

And I’m sure glad I did because barely two minutes in, I discovered

Ten unfinished canvases

Nine Model UN Placards

Eight lost hair ties (So THAT’S where they were!)

Seven pairs of metal earrings

Six twisted seashells

Five copies of my 12th marksheet (Attested, might I add)

Four forgotten polaroid pictures

Three alcohol store receipts (Definitely getting rid of those)

Two origami cranes

And one, one strong gust of nostalgia

I have learned that out of sight 

is not out of mind, 

and messy clothes, just like dynamite, or feelings, 

will not sort themselves out 

just because you shut them away 

and pretend that they do not exist 

and say “Look, ma, all tidy!” 

because we all know denial never ends well.

The thing is 

Like most things I try to do in life, 

I never completely finish cleaning because 

just like the way the ocean clambers up sand dunes and 

claims them for itself, 

I embark upon miscellaneous mess piles,

 and when I retreat, 

there are seashells in the wake of my withdrawal, 

titbits from different time zones, 

homes to creatures of memory that have long passed on.

My mind is like an ocean, turbulent and destructive, 

yet sustenance and home for certain beings only, 

perpetually pulled by conflicting currents, 

and perhaps this is what always dooms my cathartic cleansing to fail, 

because if your head is in a mess 

then you can only fold clothes and throw away candy wrappers for so much long

before drifting off into another whirlwind of thought-

But I’ll save cleaning my brain

For another time, 

because each time I try, 

the first thing I discover 

is a collection of unfinished poems

including this one.