Poetry by Reshma Ramesh

Reshma Ramesh

Another lost filling

I have this pain everywhere
But it seems to come from my molar
When I clench it real tight
Like I do when I read about rape
Or a child being molested,
I feel silly complaining about a tooth ache
When there is so much going on
In other’s lives like poverty, divorce and death
Do they complain too about appendix, joints
And failing cardiovascular system?
‘’Pain’’ my dentist says’’ is a state of mind’’
Dismissing it, ‘’there is nothing wrong with your molar.’’
On the way home, I see a bunch of boys
Throwing stones at a yelping dog
My molar throbs.
I slip my hands in my pocket and
Clench them instead
Running all the way home
To look for the lost filling.

Good Bye

A window empties itself steadily onto her
Misting breath holding on to syllables
Of the evening.
We part like this, always hoping to remember
How the horizon looked, to remember
The smell of departure, Snap of a bone,
All things that resemble the pleats of her skirt
And her crimson cheeks as she walks away.
This time I know it is forever, the city has made
Room for all the good byes, flickering lights
Showing me the way back home without her
Where an empty book waits filled with clots
Pregnant with poems.


My grandfather fought this war for many years
He did because he did not know what was better
To die from a bullet shot or broken pride
So I guess he chose the bullet, not brave I must say
He did not know anything about the enemy other
Than that they were torn (just like him)
and they didn’t like spice (unlike him)
Between the bombs and smoke he and his enemy
Shared a map of absence and heartbroken wives
A house surrounded by torn hills and gravity
To which they never returned.
My grandfather now lies with his toes facing the sky
Counting stars and broken pieces of bones
Listening to the songs of Kodagu
In a land which we call our own

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