forget the clever small talk. everyone is rising to it,
laughter bubbling into our noses. the afternoon’s
privacy spends itself like sunlight on our faces.
our limbs are warm with sleep and yesterday’s
bewilderment—“that’s us? are you sure that’s us?”
you would imagine we’d never seen you
and you’d never seen us before.
we spread across the courtyard in a
haze of limbs and the summer rises above
us like a golden bloom; forget the world—
brown skin draped over trembling bones
some sulky, breath magnolia and
words thunderstorms we toss phalsa
into our mouths and laugh bloody.
some others lie on cotton laps and spread
their hair like linen on a line
like fever dreams on dark sultry nights
and we brush our fingers over
dreamy and distant
bursting targola between our teeth
and smiling pink
river in spate laughters crash and heave
we search in every line
of every page for ourselves. we touch our
bodies with surprised fingers to search for
these breasts and jasmine freckles
and rope twisted waists;
the legs and the lotus blossoming in between;
the hair lustrous and modestly braided—
we find these creatures masquerading
as us— these characters written for
sex or homes or graves.
we wonder whose eyes you borrowed
they cannot be yours—
you must be blind. look at us
soft silk hard silhouettes lying across each
other so light(ning) in blue
you must not have found the words
to say we eclipsed you so thoroughly you
had to scrape away everything we are
to turn us into your halo.
before the evening recalls us.
the verdict is delivered—
a poor lover
and a worse
much worse writer
Samyuktha Iyer was born in Chennai and raised in Pune. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. She writes about the world she sees, the ways of the people she has lived with and of questions she struggles with herself, both in verse and in prose. Her work has been published in journals like Live Wire, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal and Rust+Moth.