From alien shores, whose names slip off your tongue
a little too soon to find in them a second home,
the kingdom of your firsts is a dreamscape.
The past will paint over its flaws until
the impatient honks of rush-hour traffic
is a jazz concerto in retrospect. You will
inhale the distilled air of distant mountains
in blind disdain, yearning for its soot-stained cousin
to fill your hungry lungs with welcome pain.
Nostalgia is not your friend:
When the dreams run wild and the tears flow free
and you retrace your steps sheepishly,
the city that rises in welcome will reek
of the past you killed in escaping it.
Ask a man returned from the world
and he’ll tell you what home really is:
A state of mind,
an unfed longing for things
only half as good as they first seem.
By Yashodhara Trivedi
Yashodhara Trivedi is a twenty-two years old native of Kolkata, India. Having recently completed the Master’s programme in English at Durham University, she now tries to distract herself from the terrifying prospect of finding a real job by pretending she can write poetry.