Roast



Friday night. Slow roast, an oven pregnant

the guest waits at your table, pouring wine, adjusting table mats
staring into the fruits and finding her childhood favourite

an untouched sweet lime

passing time
the window calls you both, you bond and chatter

wine reduces, only the residue, lingering on a future kiss

…but you miss
she watches you go blank

her eyes get filled with growing scenes 

watching them build and dissolve the breeze blows inward

the night deepens, her touch 

finds your arm



the oven ticks.

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The Sorrowful Heart of a Nineteen Year Old Girl

Met her through an ice-cream loving friend
Amidst the fete crowd she wore a floral skirt
And rickety shoes, her eyes lacking an eyeliner
Story-less and pure
She called me an unusual scientist with weird ears
And said my nose was like a rocky hill
Even my hair wasn’t spared, her convent accent
Described it as an abandoned nest
Later that month I’d find her
Strolling across the race course
Staring at horses speed past her morose eyes

Her morose eyes

The wintry tears and snowfall of regrets
Her perfect face cancelled by her imperfect self, even
The teenagers from the suburb
Felt she was too smart
But she was just a stupid girl
With a sorrowful heart

For days I’d let her jabber, not just
The usual hormonal rants but even
Lyrics of favourite songs, oh for that matter
Plans to travel to Rome and back
We even booked our trains to China
But it kind of fell apart once the phone cut

The phone cut

Years later with m shirt tucked in
I found her in a mall, she
Dragged around a cart filled
With discounted flour and tea, it even had
Vegetables and frozen meat, she looked
the same except for her skin

Dark in places, pale in some,
Her eyes slow to blink and her hair overdone
She stood in a line with
A heap of worries and despair, the winter
in her eyes colder
At the cash counter
As they touched a travel magazine
That made promises of blue seas
And islands with beautiful men,
She thought of picking one up, but then thought,
Life’s a lie, and at 28,
it’s probably better to look elsewhere

Whispers to a Current Flame

The curtains incandescent from a morning glow,
breathing in and out, sending luminous tides
to and fro across your face; you let them paint you.

Inside you a storm brews –
you imagine the whole of me melting in your grasp,
my body tantalised and reformed by the movements of yours.

Lying down under a humid breeze, you let my face sink into your chest,
watching the hair on my forehead flicker and reveal a childhood scar
from time to time.

With you I can be cleansed, nude, dressed, altogether;
without clothes we are robed by the summer,
with clothes we filled with the desire to uncover the landscapes
that live over us.

You devour me again and again, reducing me to the bare emptiness
of a fulfilled desire, waiting for me to open my eyes
only to undress me into a further nudity.

The evening arrives; must we go on for a walk and talk about the films we like and the poetry we left unwritten, while debating over what to try for dinner? Everyday passes as I watch you grow into a woman, scene by scene culminating into something maturer and calmer, nurturing me and using me, filling me and robbing me, coming to me and leaving me.

Grasp

listening to your barrage of pop rock
the exclusive smoke rings
coming to me like lucid lyrics
the window flings open for the afternoon
to sings songs of rustling leaves
who spectate carefully
moment after moment
occasionally intruding
by falling into the room

the sun slants more and more
your breath enriched by nicotine
asking to be grasped

Mangoes 

Water runs down the facade
of the mossy bungalow, constant nectar
for moss and thrushes
loud crickets

A creeper breaks, diverts
along the bark of nilgiri,
a highway for meat ants

I threw a stone

…landed in a sea of snake lillies
engulfed by earth’s evergreen fur
I ran right through, fluttering
moths and calling gliding hawks
Dense mango trees
creaking with weight

The season tapped my shoulder
An old leopard smiled, a cobra awakened
by the scurry or langurs
I waved my cane stick like a magic wand
A cloud burst and fresh rays
touched the ground,the sea sent
warm regards with the breeze
behind us, soft thuds drummed
the forest floor,
a sweet fragrance brewed

the first mangoes

Already

A while ago in the train
Watching a crowded city float under me
I realised, in a moment, under a sky turning mauve
We have already made love 

It happened first
at the school choir’s rehearsal, when
your voice tried touching mine, again and again 
at last uniting, gradually undressing my song
in the invisible air

And then once when you answered my call late
and told me stories about your grandmother
you repaired my soul while it was faraway
Showering it with memories I hadn’t seen  

And on countless occasions, after long strolls
when we shared numerous cups of tea
On each of those moments we made love
Using only observation and poetry, with time
we let subtle agreements grow
into open passion, which lost control
and offered themselves in public,
who in turn saw
only two people
speaking  

But yesterday, for the first time, after words
We caressed using fingers, discovering
new hidden worlds within one another
I watched you disrobe, becoming
raw and beautiful, offering
you my entire self, I smiled at your closed eyes 

I had already entered
this gorgeous temple before
Aware
of how this prayer would end 

Black Coffee

flowers in the ceramic vase
cat hair clinging onto the chair’s cushion
unused candle stands rusted
and the lovely smell of morning
that arrived only a few minutes
after we fell asleep
the stains of roadside food on your sweatshirt
the roughness of winter in your hair
coarse palms, a call of the newspaper boy
unattended

moving your head away, distanced
by this room and that
i walk into your house
discovering things about you, like
reading a story book
a kitchen full of half done things
straining an old brew of pressed coffee
i watch the pigeons come to the door
where you touched my face for the first time