I wake rubbing the night off my eyes.
Binary thoughts criss-cross in time.
We exchange pleasantries
in a mindless daze.
A world exists in my eardrums.
I have partial memories to gorge upon:
my grandfather has invited us to tea,
I tug at your shirt, run my fingers
on the pock mark on your forehead—
I feel the intimacy, your moist skin.
When people slip off our lives,
we remember shadows of them, dead,
like a frayed rising sail of a ship.
I curl up on your lap, like
a child’s soft-toy, smooth on the outside,
but stuffed with rough ends.
You wait with twinkles in your eyes.
Thoughts running parallel remind me of
your weathering knuckles, criss-crosses on skin.
Sounds of this world rattle my cage.
Briefly, memories circle past:
I blow into a dandelion, you brush off
a ladybug crawling on my school-shirt,
iron drips off my nose, profuse, thick,
vaporizing into summer heat.
I let sand slip off, visualise shadows
of friends, lost: like a ship
unattended for ages, a sea-shore
of a sunset, sometimes painting the sky,
sometimes brimming at the coast of your eyes
seeking a goodbye.
Onset of Autumn
Parakeets populate our sky
with cries and wonder.
I emerge from a shrouded bedside;
now looking for meaning in
myself amidst narrow walls
sketched with hesitancies
bound by night-sky
melting upon a glass ceiling.
Rain clings onto window panes
with a voyeur’s gaze upon
unwilling to wean away.
Leaves of a rain-washed tree
tattoo their shadow on our
brick-bare doorway that leads
to a barren home.
A distant whirring of a radio
playing Rabindra-sangeet all evening
floats into my mind and makes home
in a skull bugged with worries.
Far away, a world crumbles
under your weight. But you,
unaware of consequences,
tread softly away from
our shared dream.
And, amidst all this,
floating cotton clouds
engulf my autumn sky.
Shamayita Sen, a Delhi based poet and PhD research candidate (Department of English, University of Delhi), is the author of for the hope of spring: hybrid poems (Hawakal Publishers, 2020), and editor of Collegiality and Other Ballads: feminist poems by male and non-binary allies (Hawakal Publishers, 2021). Her poems and research articles have appeared in various national and international avenues. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.