let me hold you while you laugh,
there’s a saying in our parts
that tears revive the past but harden the present,
let me hold you while your breasts are forming
and your lips are waiting, and the future’s forming
within our sulky bowers, beneath our molten skies
that watch and judge and witness the precious
moments of our togetherness blooming into love.
let me drink in tribute to the soldiers
who’ve marched before us, showing us the way.
let me be.
as you will be.
i carry your memory even as i sit beside you;
breathing life into old images, interiorising your face.
like a pilgrim annoints ancestors from pots of purity,
i pour versions of you back at yourself in the hope
of touching you on the quick of our oneness;
i watch faces of strangers crossing the street
passing my life like you, turning back to smile.
i carry that moment even as i sit beside you;
like a pilgrim heaving his bundle of faith
and nothing else.
i wonder, even as i drink coffee
and abandon newspapers yet again,
and settle down to question the clear white screen
seeking words and moments, faces and bondings
that aren’t so ready-made as you think.
we have our own moments of consummate summation,
when the muse hesitates, confused;
a writer’s world isn’t filled by words but by the silence
of words, so there, you have it even as you
hug the dark corner picking off-coloured
beads scattered all over our predicament;
it’s not a happy world, but a seeking one,
never brought to fruition but by completing
the circle of life like my arms reaching around
yet losing you each time by that hairs-breadth between fingers.
i wonder still.
© Shreekumar Varma