By Poornima Laxmeshwar
You will never know me,
Untangling me is an understatement.
I am the river with a snake in my womb,
I prey on your hunches,
I am a linear with no variables,
I am made up of my ocean with disobedient waves,
I am the guilt that comes with pleasure.
Trust is an actor, who lives by mediocrity,
So I choose faithlessness.
And hope is an incomplete poem;
Exhausted of tired words and silly grammatical mistakes,
You have nowhere but my silence to run into.
Oh love! You are living on lost instincts,
Walking the dead imagination every single day.
You are, after all, my breathing prediction.
Shadows for keepsake
I am hanging the shadow
On the clothesline;
Clip it tight
With the ones I purchased in the local plastic store
For 45 rupees per dozen;
Couldn’t negotiate more,
So I had to let go;
They say quality products come at a price,
At times even women fail at cheap bargaining.
The shadow might take a flight.
Wind is an untrustworthy bastard,
And I need my shadow;
It’s a piece of my existence,
A reminder that I still breathe
Though it varies with the asthma I have.
After the divorce,
My shadow sort of gave up;
The haunting words, the vacuum of the silence,
The non-stop howl of the television,
The mess of the emotional salad
Was just too much to digest.
The shadow was comatose,
For a change it preferred darkness;
Oddly enough being at a halt is also an art.
But I couldn’t leave it there;
I had to lend my bones and flesh,
I was lonely too…
The pearls of your laughter
Have been carefully strung in the silk thread of time,
And treasured for that “Someday” –
Someday when you will see yourself in the mirror
And wonder about the calcium-vitamin deficient woman in that reflection,
When her rough hands, ruffled hair, dark circles,
Cracked heels, disgust you.
When her poetry has declared its exile
And prefers to break free from chained words,
When her identity is eclipsed in her man’s ego,
While her love rests in impermanence,
That day I will gift you the pearls, my daughter.
You wear them not to remember the lost smiles
But to recreate them
For womanhood is jinxed with forgetfulness.
Painting: Odon Czintos
Poornima Laxmeshwar resides in the garden city, Bangalore, and works as a content writer for a living. Her poems have appeared in Cold Noon, Vayavya, Muse India, Writers Asylum, The Aerogram, Stockholm Literary Review, Northeast Review, and Brown Critique, amongst many others. Her haikus have found space in several magazines.
Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, based in New York City, USA. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.
Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on ‘In the Shadow of the Larger Faiths: The Minor Faiths of South Asia’, edited by Prof. Sipra Mukherjee, West Bengal State University, Kolkata, India.