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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