Hill Station

you smudged your lips with them
winter settled outside like a story
untold but felt in bits
memory after memory
unfolding with the cry of jackals
at the time of dusk
which is also when the charcoal turned orange
and dinner was realised
the thick novels about Africa
the checkered muffler that smelt like you
and the folded crease of the bread wrapper
all together on one table
I shifted it aside and watched your reflection in the window
dotted by stars and occasional village lights
both versions of the night imprinted on one surface
it turned blue to black
the jackals went softer and the last of the charcoal
sent out a few sparks into the air
you sat next to me nearly shivering
the winter turning a page over
written slowly thereon



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