22 July 2017


Aspiring doctor

quit med school due to a

smack across the head

those bookshelves did damage.

Integrated into the army

wings whistling through Pakistan

“I became the second man in Bharat to break the sound waves.”

sonic captain of an air fleet

“I landed that plane

the right way.”

Watching child rise up to be a race car driver

living off of papa’s income

trust fund victor of the track

daughter’s shipped across the Pacific like

a ton of marble ready to break

“I need to get out.”

so she did.

Comfortable living in a quaint three floored compound

motorcycles parked in the garage


“office where I do work”

snacking on Weetabix and chocolate

“I like fresh fruit smoothies”

watching the stock market climb, swing, dilate


Back to America to breathe salt-stitched air

Daughter’s happy with her kids and


take a dive in their new food, their new room, their new bike, their new pool

it’s peaceful, but

too cold at

85 degrees

“I’m going to Malaysia.”

At home where it’s warm and spiced

won’t take Marijuana ’cause

he’ll get shot.

Return to the Jewel of Asia and take a round trip back to

the Land of Opportunity

so he can sip his cannabis and

talk of the wind-riling

glory days

grandkids getting old

16, writing a novel

13, still not as tall as his

other friends

“Do you want to become a pilot?”

they’re both unsure

she just wants to fly, that’s all.

“I’m going to Malaysia.”

“No you’re not.”

“I’m going to Malaysia.”

“Take your cannabis.”

“I’m going to Malaysia.”

“Please don’t.”

taste buds gone rotten

skin and bones

eyes bright and beautiful and blue

pseudo aspirations

akin to Schrödinger’s poor cat

not as alive as

we thought he could be.

“There’s no point in living.”

and he couldn’t have been more wrong, but

his words have gone drier than

Bharat’s rivers

and he’s ghost-like in his seat, trying

to soak up the sunlight in his

down coat

summer time is never quite scalding enough

receives hugs and hesitant smiles

and we’re not sure he understands that

“I’m going to Malaysia”




They stayed with him all night

All night

“I’m not sure you want to see him like this.”

By the time 10:53 rolls around

his voice had sunk deep into his heart

that’s thrumming like molasses



hears grandson’s voice through the speaker

“um, not sure what to


um, I hope that—

um, I love you so much”

granddaughter wants to

sketch a biplane

for him to see before,


Instead I’m sitting here typing this while he

follows my aunt’s dead dog into the


4 thoughts on “10:53

  1. Maya, I realize this poem is about your grandfather who passed away this summer. Evocative. I did not know that he originally studied medicine. But I remember that your grandfather’s father was a doctor , so it is understandable. I am glad that you and Noah were able to be with him at he end.
    May he rest in peace!
    Grammy Savoie

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