Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry II


On His Second Marriage

when she married him
he was a tree with no branches
roots became stones
between him and my mother
his thick glasses 
his bony vessel
with sparse body hair

then the berry trees. the ginger
and other herbs. they grew in abundance
in our portico 

when he married her
she was no tree, no branches
an apparition 
between her and my mother
his thick glasses 
his rustic vessel 
reminded her 
of his sparse body hair


my brother and I, 
like protozoic timepieces 
flourished on lime-washed walls

Hard Water

You asked if we can stop the car midway and go for an ice-cream. Your eyes heavy with the speed of 
metal highway, your lips innocuous and patchy, you didn't have dreams for long nights. I stared at you like a broken glass piece. I realized I was on the suicide seat holding fast to the
moment, not willing to give up like a few Tibetan lanterns did that night. I asked if you have been to see your mom lately. I wanted to ask about your family. I had asked
several questions loud enough not to be heard but one, your favourite ice-cream flavor, if any. Inside, it was getting warmer than before but I wanted our silence to be private. I drank my tongue
and thought of spiders in ice farms. I never wanted your hands to look into my face, never wanted your eyes to touch my hands. But I
wanted both to sit me with trust and likening like the cold clouds hanging low on our car. In that extreme moment, you wanted me to laugh in the voice of a caterpillar, bristle and break into
a suave butterfly and forget measures in age and kind of fabric. Life has never come in term with me and as usual, that night, ice-cream was only a scapegoat.