Here are the neem blossoms on the red-tiled floor
the first breath of summer crumbling under the feet
in the instep arched deeper to become a receptacle.
The moonlight bounces off the waxy leaves
a cloud of smoke from the smoldering branches is carried
by the breeze from the sea blowing inland to the terrace.
The roots of the tree are knotted in a clay tub
the bark stumpy, the branches twisted at the nodes
whorls of the memory of earth siphoned in spoons of existence.
You take the tartness of the flower in the mouth
knead away my loop of desire, dig the soil to move the tree
holding it as you would an infant to prevent limbs from splaying.
Spread me out, flatten the ground with your moist palms
the roots crave to cleave the breasts of the earth furrowed
by the labor of the moon planted in the seeds of your hunger.
I begin to talk to the moon
I have been wanting to do it from the time
I experienced the phenomenon
that moon is not an astral body
not a satellite that books make it to be
and that was when I was a girl
looking up as the clouds scudded by
the palm fronds eclipsed the sheer whiteness
I walked streets, past buildings
wearied I reached an open ground
the orange lantana was sobered by the spectacle in the sky
the crown flower poisoned a deep purple
the shadows of the leaves sharp on the burnt grass
I did not have to look up to see the moon
earth was a receptacle
the way my skin, eyes, limbs
incandesce with you
love like the moon is a phenomenon
I run untiringly to the open space
to garner you in the orchard of my heart.
Light moves with night breeze
teasing here gone there,
to the moth gently opening skirt
of aching desire bursting
with moistness of mist.
The colour of night is intense
blue of compressed air
between wings, unfurling
like rainbow on icicles searing
a map of his taste on my skin.
The fabric is twisted with dyes
dawn from silver threads of saliva
spun when night is moonless.
Tongue of shame pushes the cloth up
to reveal the dark scar of lust.
It is difficult to hold my gaze
through the green of your shirt
when time is quartered from shade card,
and moving air from wings of moth
determines hardness of your want.
Crimson dreams and tales fill her kohl drawn eyes;
he bends to her, to ether breath of light at the lip of dawn.
The bird sighs on a sultry afternoon, throat pulses, contracts,
gently heaves as he strokes where jaw angles into neck.
Marble breaks into whispers, exhales heat secreted in whorls and veins
of her body: sun dried grapes warm, succulent on his lips.
Leaf tumbles in silence, pale green going grey, then ashen like the moon;
swathes of ache knot her limbs, then, tug her heart.
These words that collect like seeds
and crawl on paper,
what are they, you asked.
A girdle of light slid into you
as you gathered the grains,
the slits of gold .
When your fingers paused between
ears of corn, cells in my body
sighed from the bamboo thicket
where shadows deepened
with your silence.
Write a poem a day, NaPoWriMo 2013
“Stalks of Bamboo by a Rock” (1347) by Wu Zhen
The rice field listens to the
song of our breathing,
heavy gasps weighed down
in wetness of desire.
When he traces the snail
of his finger on my back
an arc of bird soars in the sky:
a jade light in deep blue.
His palm weaves a gossamer
shawl of pallor to cover my skin
that he then unveils gently till
the night as thick silk pours
around us. The birds settle
in hush and darkness whispers
through gentle breeze
between the angles of our bodies.