Thammi asked me to pinch up her sorrows
like red ants from the bark of her tree
they climbed her long brown arms
one by one from imprisoned nights
when saltwater overflowed her pores
and the rain disoriented the shape of the girl
who floated trapped in a form
in her dream she had kept her young.
I reached out across many years to touch her hands
her dry skin peeled off
a strong cinnamon smell in my fingers.
Memories of spices wafted through the air
like flipped pages of her recipe books
basmati rice, ghee, saffron, cardamom,
milk and honey dripping from its dog ear edges.
I prepare a glass of warm clove water
white clouds form around a semicolon moon
my fingers adamantly repeat the cinnamon smell
memory of her dry skin.
Long-stalked Yellow Flower
Should we be glad we lived the moment-
the moment of your picking a long- stalk yellow flower
and clipping it on my longish brown hair? You said
you wanted to collect all the yellow flowers
that grow on Tindharia slopes throughout your sunburnt days
bring them to me on a long island moonlit night
hold my hands till the sun cleared your gray convex horizon-
it was such a limpid dance of words!
I am no Mrs.Dalloway.I hate clinking glasses.
But in a sense we are all Clarissas
absurd perhaps in the eyes of our own Peters
organizing our grand partys
with words and thoughts and ideas
that eat and drink and dance and blather
throughout our lives.
Our lives are like scratches made by wolves’ claws
on the surface of our wet- soil minds
scratches on bare skins when we stand naked dripping water
tiny points of ache forming on our old scars.
We greet our scars like familiar kitchen containers
look for them in the throng of voluble memories
feel at home with the chopped pieces on the chopping broad.
Much of it is inside.