I

You kiss me where the end
Of my smile met my cheek.
Your lips do not find my lips there anymore.
Your head on my belly
Up and down
Your black shock of hair
Sinking rising
Like a ship lost to sea.

We tell each other
Our fantasies
Long-silenced wishes falling
Out of our mouths
Like milk teeth.
You speak in lusty reverence
Of American Beauty
Where the roses are Indian.
I trace the veins in your arms
And tell you of my wondering
Vitruvian man maps
Of the Candy Man
Sugar lips, chocolate arms, cottony pink hair
And other pastry extremities.

On warm buzzing weeknights
We’d dance to the Ricky Dinks
You were surprised
At my love of songs
Half Unremembered,
Half unknown.
We move together
In tiny steps
Clinging delicate creepers us
Cha-Cha-ing all the way to Chachaville.
A place we cannot stay long
But the view is breathtaking.


II

This melody
Malady
Doesn’t play God
Doesn’t discriminate.
You shake your head no,
They say the brainy are vulnerable
This what you get for sitting on the first bench
I invited you back, Miss Snobby Two Shoes.

Sometimes you’ll give me your glasses
Newly buffed by your sweater sleeve
Rose coloured to swap for my dark shades.
I shake my head no,
We’re of different powers
You can’t take my darkness, love.

At night the dreams come
You tell me of the light in my eyes
When I open them asleep
My trembling fingers
At pursuers Who Must Not Be Named
Your thumb pressing my palm
Reminds me I’m tethered
A thumb print remains at dawn.
I’ve signed something away–
Power of Attorney.


III

In the end
What we remember most
Are the night of tears and rains.

Why is it
That the sweet never stays on the tongue?
You
Me
Life hitting below the belt
But a little too late
Like kicking a dead head
Or rubbing it in
The Salt in our Scars.

I try to look at the rear view mirror that is my life
But relationships may appear closer than they were.
So I don’t.
I try not to.
I fail miserably.
But I keep calm and carry on
And so no one knows my storm.


©Shweta Bhat

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