The Full Moon: A Love Poem

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You favor one side when you sleep
lean into the silence of the whitewashed wall
crumples of paint dust a veil of blanket.

I carry quietness in the hollow of my chest
slip into the folds of night, the sleeve of silver
under the bridge of your even breathing

worrying about the trespass of your space
but the light of the full moon emboldens me
to take the moistness of your palms in mine.

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The Body Spans Three Landscapes

I realize I can walk miles backward
not once glancing over the shoulder.

Let fatigue rest in the intersections of limbs
there will always be someone to spread

ash for the plants, turn soil with bone meal.
I run out of fingers to count the ones that fell

remembrance jagged with spikes of pain –
each three parts water one part air.

Thoughts are the matter I cannot grasp
hence I drown in the depths of the ocean

where the slop is churned every hundred years
to a speck on a leaf that floats to the bay

into the jade-colored estuary at the lip of the land.
Sand sifts through webs of interlaced fingers

flounces as dreams a clear shade of blue
the mornings always misty on the glass.

I can feel the temperature of all things
the love crusted like glazed pot, lightning

that singes the grass clumps in the yard
knots in the breasts with hardened milk.

What I covet grows wings, breaks free
flies to the dark cavern to hang feet up

for nine months and grow flesh, muscles
in the womb deposited with memories

from three landscapes – the river town
the city by the sea, the crowded metropolis.

 

 

 

A Letter

I write to you sitting in the core of a large tree
ringed with silence.
I have fit into a plinth small to hold the kernel
of your breath.
Sometimes I think your voice has an aquatic form
over my moist skin.
Light from the street pools in your palm curled in
the hollow of my neck.
The leaves fall on the sand coppered by light along
lines of hunger.
Urge grows to hold the red distilled from plumeria
against your throat.
My desire stretches to fill the space between
two grass stalks.

Remembering Mother

It takes two hands to clap
silence languishes in a vacuum.
She presses her elbows on the table
gets up to leave, a spring flows calmly
across her face as fury wrecks me red.

The seasons unfurl in her chest
monsoon curls the edges of her hair
that flutter in lazy scrolls
the skin on her waist a gentle turmeric
in the moistness of summer.

I knock around the cave of her silence
fly above the landscape of her stillness
scan the contours of her body dip and rise
as I hold breath at the nine gateways
in an attempt to douse the fire.

She is the water drop on a lotus leaf
no grease marks on the stove
clothes folded away, dishes rinsed
on the sink. Being born afresh
is like dying in the right sense.

 

The Full Moon: A Love Poem

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I keep coming back to the overrun garden on my terrace
Our world grows in quantum that gets hard to grasp
Like the river in the backyard thick with sediments at the waist.

I lay in one brick at a time, raise a small wall the first day
Plant a rose sapling for you, all the flowering plants for the summer
Our limbs knotted, overrun in tangles in the terrace garden.

The moringa tree is stripped of leaves, brewed for a decoction
The branches inch to reach you,  the anemic heart grasps
At the light sedimented in the waisted node of the backyard tree.

Thoughts crowd my head every morning, seek your attention
Like nestlings clamoring for food with urgent open beaks
Like a worm I offer myself to the bulbuls that overrun my garden.

The years with you run over like a hasty stream sometimes
At others weigh as a branch heavy with moisture and blossoms
Always enough love not to be choked, thick at the waist like a river.

The moon weaves light threads as I acquire a gait of fullness
The root tumultuously overruns the garden terraced by desire
Breath sediments in the waist of the river hollowed by your touch.

Photo Courtesy: The New Indian Express

Interbeing

PLUMERIA
All lives are connected
trees and plants are one organism

that nurture each other
the weak soldiered by the strong.

There is a warrior in my garden
the Plumeria tree that grows in a large tub

she has not a single leaf and will never
waste energy on producing one all summer.

She breathes deep and holds life
for pink protuberances to burst into blossoms.

In the tub there is a hum of roots, a stray
tomato seed waves pale and spindly shoot

a robust butterfly pea creeper threads
a nosy tendril into the air for support from

the naked branches. Blanched
leaves of honeysuckle vine trail

over the tree as they gulp mouthfuls
of sunlight for chlorophyll.

The Gardener

Seeds travel all over, sprout
from cracks in walls. Different
plants cohabit in a tub – basil with
jasmine, butterfly pea and honeysuckle.

The inflorescence of the mustard field
leaves a scar on the retina
blazing hours after I remain
blindfolded in jaundiced darkness.

He never trims a tree,
the branches awkwardly crisscross
arms tangle like
an amateur yoga practitioner.

He taught me how to lie
in a patch of dead marigolds
the smell of seeds masculine
trapping to the pores of my skin.

The morning glory soaks in
the blue of the sky
till all that is mirrored in his eyes
is the blinding light of my desire.