An Approach to Adjourned Affections

    by Rebecca Vedavathy

    For Imroz

    Loosen the drawstrings of sorrow
    you clasp around that poem, my love
    permit the hurt of absence grow wild
    cherry trees in the marrow of those
    verses to come, some poems
    lie in the valley of our future
    where your eyes smile
    at the follies of our past.

    They too shall write themselves.
    They too shall scribble themselves.
    as we wait, let us pen those letters
    braised in secret words
    aching and eager for
    the dark room of tomorrow.
    Let’s forget Ronsard and Marvel
    at the foothills trilling
    Cueillez, cueillez le jour !

    Let’s live a Balzacian time
    like him too
    shall we then turn the desert page
    into a hymn book of lovers
    for who can change the sweet sorrow
    that knows, every time we kiss,
    a tongue of poetry moistens
    the lapel of an unclad page

    Annotations on Loneliness I

    a phantom limb pain
    an acute awareness
    of absence
    no, not yours, not his,
    not hers, not theirs
    a ligated bloom
    of chrysanthemums
    inside you

    flouting ownership
    a concave pain
    fighting atrophy
    a pruning pain willing
    to hang a fig
    on an olive tree willing
    to colour the Tournesols
    charcoal deep

    always looking for
    prosthesis: a cigarette, a drink,
    a body, a joke, a film,
    all of questionable
    taste, screaming

    more, more, more…

    never permitting
    the pleasure
    of complete loss,
    a festoon of paltry sorrows
    so easy to fill

    so so difficult to live.

    Annotations on Loneliness II

    On the kitchen counter I leave
    slivers of my loneliness for you
    to examine
    It is not easy to be on display
    I talk on behalf of the drying
    beads of pomegranates,
    the spotting bananas and
    the coriander not as quick to
    burst into fresh sprigs

    Sometimes in a friend’s apartment
    I stay an extra fifteen minutes
    scrubbing the kitchen counter
    clean making conversation about
    how to rid it of roaches
    spraying the chinks with repellent
    brushing away the cobwebs
    of a self that is held woven by
    a spider that awaits its own undoing

    One time at around midnight
    I washed the front porch clean
    sweeping the dirt outwards
    not knowing that despondency
    is the sea with its waves curled in
    -ward always making way back to shore

    while loneliness is the jasmine
    flower plucked from the trellis
    of the creeper on your windowsill
    and left to dry inside the stuck
    pages of a book.

    Dr. Rebecca Vedavathy is an award-winning poet and academic from Bangalore, India. She works as Assistant Professor, French at a reputed college in Bangalore. She won the Poetry with Prakriti Contest in 2016 awarded by the Prakriti Foundation. Her poems have been shortlisted for the Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize (2018), the Wordweaver’s Poetry Contest (2017) and the Glass House Poetry Contest (2020). She has been published by many national and international journals like Allegro Poetry Magazine, Mascara Literary Review, The Bangalore Review, Vayavya, The Sunflower Collective among others. She has been invited to read her work at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Hyderabad Literary Festival, Nazariya International Women’s Film Festival (Hyderabad), Centre for Indian Languages (Banaras), among others.

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