After you hung up the call,
whatsapp asks me to rate our call.
Genuinely, I wanted to give a single star
For the poor communication we had;
with few words studded in the vastness of silence
like the luck of finding a piece of cottage cheese in our hostel dinner.
Rate the call I read,
as I hear the pigeons ruffling through my empty attic,
cooing to its mate, which you never noticed.
Maybe a two star I should submit, for the company emptying my void echo;
Rate the call I read again,
the summer rains began their abrupt cries and wails with the first ring and
I can’t give more than a three star, for the little hopeless words
I heard between the thunderstorms and
the prolonged silences I see every time the lightning illuminates your face.
During January, I would have submitted a four star
It was warmer then, in the cold, our fingers crocheted and knitted to mittens,
now the lock down has locked us down in two different places, unraveling the wool and its warmth.
Rate the call I read again, ending with questions this time,
and I submit a five star for the provocation.
Joanna George currently writes from Pondicherry. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, West Trestle Review, Lumiere Review, Literary Shanghai, Mookychick and others.