By Rochelle Potkar
It's 4 am and the moon is three-quarters. I am leaving this place – a stop on my father’s transferrable job map. It has seen the swelling seasons of my breasts, the adolescent scores of my interrupted affairs. It has troubled me, traumatized me, teased me, tempted me, humiliated me, but never let me be. Free now in this morning mist I still can’t let it go, because I found myself here. All my baggage is wrapped and bundled in this buggy.
I have decided if I have to leave, I am taking this place with me: it's taste of black stones, grainy mud, the rain through flower petals, the silhouette of unsymmetrical trees, its monuments and streets, abandoned carts, beggars sleeping like stone carvings along the bazar lane.
I am taking the laughter of its children, wedding songs of women, the banter of its drunk men, the catcalls of Romeos, the moans of its Juliets, the gasps of Lailas, the howls of its Majnoons.
That was all I needed but now it’s you, who shows me the moon’s halo – and that what surrounds the three-forth gleam is as important. You kiss my lips, before clenching them shut in the next instance with a weed-induced, cloud-grey, farewell smooch.
My eyes sting. I am taking your long fingers with me, their half-moon nails, your smooth hair, your soft breath, your voice wrapped in daggers, your soot-filled eyes, your heaving chest, your quivering naval button, the deep cleft of your chest, your ignorant Adam's apple, you supple cheeks. I am taking your ambiguity, your pain, your confusing grey, your groans, your theories, your principles, your war curses, your spit, your love, your stubborn disposition.
The Taj Mahal stood in all these years in one place, bathing under the crescent.
Only I move, collecting bones, souls, and aches.
silting skies –
between his homecomings
she loses her ground