Site icon Arnav Sibal

9. Sandman III

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“Sandman, you’re a motherfucker.”

I said, head drooped over the sink

“You claim to sell dreams but they’re all with a wink.”


He smirked, proud of what he’d besmirched

I took a look at the clock, if only the hand would jerk

The way I wanted it to

But all it told me

Was that I had to wait before I had to leave


“Eyes here,” he said

“You’re not allowed to wonder off

Especially when you’re about to takeoff

You want to take on me? Be my guest

I beat you at chess. Now I’ll beat you in the chest.”


I glanced at my reflection

To see my eye turn black

My skin began to tear up

In a network of dirt tracks

My nose began to bleed

I sank in my shoes

My hair became grizzled

My heart had come loose


I reached for the concealer

Sandman blocked me

I fell down

Sandman watched me


“This was all your doing

You made yourself believe

That everything in your life is temporary

You want more sand

But you keep shaking the glass

Because you don’t think you’re strong enough

To make things last.”


“So tell me,” I rasped, “Why are you here?”

He sighed and tapped a finger on my ear

“You just don’t get it

Why do you think everything fits?

The time is never right

She called it quits

The wind is always blowing

You’re a proper Paddington

Things don’t happen to you. You make them happen.

You’d be fine with the rambles

If you were good at moving on

But you’re a hard-core romantic

In a daffodil lawn”


Somehow I managed to find my footing

My criss-crossed body stayed intact

But felt like pudding

I couldn’t take any more of his studious eyes

His metaphors, games, and devious lies

I was going to turn him to dust

I’d declare him unjust

The wind my executioner

Wrong Midas. Be crushed.


I punched the mirror

But his foul voice didn’t die

I felt my lips move

The sound was wry


“You think the man in the mirror

Is not the man in your bed

Boy, you look good when reflecting

But you die in your head

Aren’t you a jack of all hearts

This is what you always wanted

You think a single card

Had your life plotted?”


“You said it yourself

You didn’t want to be dirt

So walk on out there like a human

And conquer the earth.”

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