Abha Iyengar
Excerpt from KotaPress Poetry Anthology Volume 3, 2003

This Is the Last Match I’ll Strike


Jobless, worthless,
Nowhere to go,
Living on the pittance
Doled out by others
Am I to call them
Sisters and brothers?

Thank you, Lord,
for giving me a life
It doesn’t matter that
It is full of strife.

This is the last match
I’m going to strike,
Hoping for that final light.
Torn jeans,
Worn for days
Crawly place.
I didn’t choose
to be like this,
Who Would?
I feel like the proverbial fish –
out of water.

Out of water,
out of food,
Out of hearth, home,
and brood.
Out of air, out of space,
Out of every goddamned race.
Show me where
to hide my face.


This is the last match
I’m going to strike
To make that coffee,
Heat that soup,
After that I’ll take a hike –
To all the places
I want to go.
Fairyland, dreamland,
and all aglow.

Beckoning with
A thousand smiles
How do I cover
the thousand miles?
On gossamer wings?
On magic carpets?
I don’t know
but I will go
‘cause this is the end
of the show.
The show of shows
Loving, caring, subjugated
Will finally leave this house.


“Give me a drag, give me a light,
this is the last match I’m gonna strike.”
Then I’ll flounder in the darkness
Created by drugged delight, and
Try to escape with all my might.

Face the world
Square on the jaw
Even though I’m hooked
and raw.
Hold my hand-
Lead me away-
From these murky
Depths of despair.
I’m coming up
gasping for air, so
Don’t choke me,
Let me have my say.
I want sunshine,
I want daffodils,
Despite the thrills,
I want to undo what drugs have done
Snorting powder is no longer fun.
The sweetness of sugar is
not for me.
The salt of my tears will
set me free.


Author Bio
Abha Iyengar is an Indian writer, and dabbles in all things creative. She strives for peace and spiritual well-being. Her publications include: an article on “Population” in a book called Science, Technology and Development published by Wiley Easter; poems in Femina, prize winning Haiku poems in Life Positive. She has contributed to several anthologies, and published online at The Artemis Journal, Poets Online, Wordmage, NAWW Weekly, The Dawkins Project, Gowanus, among others.