Vol 13, Num 9 :: 2014.05.02 — 2014.05.15
The year dragonflies filled the sky,
a million rainbows filtered sunlight.
Strobes of red and purple dusted the walls,
danced on the sun-warmed terrace,
spotted her like a leopard as she held
the cloudburst of passion in gestation.
It is the house that wheezed, everyone said —
her labored breath settled as soot
in the chimney. Swaddled in yards of silk
she paced the length and breadth of time,
rolled up one night like an old prayer mat
to be put away in the corner of my life.
The arc of moon like a sliver of her nail
was tossed on the dark floor.
Inauspicious, he said, guiding a paper
under and folding it in the folds of his skin
so that silver flakes of his dust bobbed
in the house years after he died.
I was stung by smoke diffused in memory
as she lit fire, placed brass urn with water
I drew from the well till the rope wedged
furrows in my fingers. The labyrinthine path
the bus took past the church, down the park
left unplumbed grooves in my brain.
The way she picked stones from grains,
I detached words from stories, carried them
to lands that knew nothing of singing waves.
A circle cannot travel far from the centre —
I return to hang lanterns from old windows,
unfold the yellowed pages ripped of script.