Note: I had first started writing this poem when I was all of twenty-four years, just before moving out of a relationship, my first love, which was a couple of years old, which, I had realized by then, had no possibility of being consummated in marriage. The poem in its rough, unedited form was lying in a nearly discarded notebook, and after years of marriage and motherhood, I had the chance of talking to that ‘old scar’ for whom the poem originated, when I visited my hometown in West Bengal, India, following my mother’s sudden demise in 2013. We had talked over the phone for a couple of days but then decided to go for a total closure as the rough edges of my very young days were bruising me with that unsolicited correspondence. However, the one thing good which came out of it is that even the poem found a closure, as I expanded it, edited it and made it a part of my debut poetry collection ‘Let The Night Sing’. The book has been published in July 2017 by Global Fraternity of Poets.
I had given you my stone studded love
love, roaring like the lazy lion,
love, rising like the tawny sun,
tiptoeing, unnoticed, floating around
high altitudes of your unuttered wants,
scrabbling across your sky
like inconvenient polka dots.
And when you came around me,
I felt you grip my chin,
triumphant, I thought I knew the hill and smoke
and the curves and creases of love.
Or, did I, really? I never claimed I did.
I was just a child-woman, walking, dreamy,
creaking, sighing, bleeding pink, purple,
smelling of rain and flowers in the crosswalk.
I had known, when I had died, and reborn then,
the slippery, impish, inflamed undulations,
the volatile, spasmodic, earthen texts
seeped in my own skin, as I wanted you
in wild, tender, epileptic spurts of tears…
…. The phone connected sounds, thick, wavy,
ether-like, through the clots in my throat,
depressive, psychotic, stretching on.
There was only one kind of love I had known,
the kind where tears swirled off the ground,
crystallized, danced, like snowflakes.
the kind where hard kisses germinated
in bumps and bolts, hungry, soiled,
smudging our faces, as we flickered,
melted, slowly, softly, peeling away like paper.
There was one kind of love I had known,
a dreamy mind embroidery. A seed sown
in my womb, craving the flesh, tissues, blood
of your own, the wild cries of a newborn.
A dream nestled, thickening, as I looked
Into your brown, brimming eyes.
…….. I had let him sleep, reaching across
the scattered ashes. I had loved
the seething unrest, the dirt and dust
As I tasted my unshackled calf-love
Growing in flesh and bones,
ebbing and flowing inside of me.
You had known one kind of love,
The rich brewed color of hormones and longing,
The fleshing out in leaves and skin
As I had roamed around with you,
Unfolding myself as I pranced
in the old, lean nooks of the city.
You have transcended them. I know you may
ruminate some day—the fits and storms,
The bursts of rain, the tainted fairy tale
That once you had named “true love’.
I had known only one kind of love,
An invincible, bohemian surge,
A language gone awry. A dying out
And rebirth of the child woman,
Scraped, burnt out, in throbbing pain
And chanting melodies.