Akhila Jagdish: After Love: The Day After

Spring '10 TOC

Despair, in due course, eventually dulls.  Stains the soul. 
Like marbled eggs.  Their hard white flesh stained with tea.
Before love.  The emptiness was incongruous.  The ache
was still there.  Treading lightly.  The day after, however,
the crushing act of leaving keeps you silent.

Water rushes past a bridge.  The footpath wet with autumn leaves.
You hold your water bottle.  Since there is no one to hold your
hand.  The chill marks the beginning.  You wrap your shawl
tightly around your body.  And make your way, alone, to the museum.

In times of stress, the body aches for touch.  Every cell throbs for skin.
You try to hold yourself but realize that your skin still aches.  Throbs.  Dull.
You try to find a friend, to wash the pain into the river.  But they are all busy.
You miss human touch.

"The skin, the skin needs to be touched."

Freedom isn't free.  I think someone told me that once.  Before
they left for war.  Not in a desert, or savage land.  You can remember
mangoes hanging of the tree.

"Meet me on the Green."

The day will come when you no longer wait
for me to walk in.  Prepare vegetables for dinner.
Make a salad with chickpeas and onions.

I regret the loss of us.  The final marker of failure.  Our tongues trip
on words that have long since been lost.  Our bodies separate and
eventually fade.  A distant shimmer.  A haunting melody.  A fragmented
memory.  Stars shine on potential, they speak the thoughts that could
have been.  Mangoes, heavy with juice, eventually fall.  Splitting open.

"I couldn't find you..."

One day.  In the afternoon.  In October.  It was raining. 
You make a cup of tea.  And forget about it.  Returning hours
later, it is cold.  The bitterness on your tongue gives you something else
to remember.  Something else to think about.  Standing, you compose
a poem.  Somewhere, in another city, someone is staring at a blank canvas.

In the final moments....

Nothing will be left to say.


Your footsteps mark the end.

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Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
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