Syeda Farhin Sultana: Figures of Thought: Collegiate Voices across Spaces

Ebbs and Flows

There are fresh sheets that I’ve laid out tonight
The fabric softener I purchased proudly boasts of the smell of Eucalyptus
I, however, have only seen them in wedding flowers, neatly arranged on the tables 
And tucked into garlands
Outside, the night puts on her dressing gown and sits at her powder table
The sylphs look over the lassies of our mortal realm and dance in the air
He is in the other room, preparing his ruin with a cigarette, listening to Radiohead
Each time he comes to mine, since the first day, 
I keep looking at his hands with profound warmth
His hands are like art, something that Raphael and Michelangelo would have painted
His hands draw out the day’s despondency that I cage in my body
When he fastens the door, my sanguine heart is all butterflies and restlessness
My lips are chapped and they are bruised with his kisses
I like how our vehemence is preceded by tenderness
A languorous breeze touches my bosom where his head rests
We laugh at something hideously unfunny
And when there are ebbs and flows in our ocean of love,
My eyes lock into his 
Sometimes, he mumbles a little something into my ears
He smells of cigarettes and exults in the whiffs of vanilla from my neck
How pure is it to lie with a bare body with someone you love?
The vulnerability is overpowering
At the end, I become an archipelago of feelings
He finishes his rum and moves the tresses on my face
The moonshine floods into the room and I smile languidly at him.

Christmas Grief

This Christmas, I will pack my grief
in an old portmanteau, wear
a red hooded cape over the woolen dress
mother knit, pack my plum pudding
and fruitcake and candies in
a basket and throw in the letters that I
never got to send. I will tread
through the woods, singing like
the ' night songstress', tickle the
pine trees where the snow rests peacefully,
I will swirl and throw away the unsent letters
and release my grief and agitation into the sky
embroidered with a thousand twinkles. And if
we meet beneath the mistletoe,
we won't vow for a forever. We
will kiss under the moonlight
vowing to remember this Christmas,
with the angels performing Beethoven's
fifth symphony. We will go ice
skating and let our capricious
hearts disgorge all fears and
disappointed hopes. We will
make snow angels and laugh
till it feels like our lungs might
give up .When I return home, I will
unpack my grief and hug my
loneliness. I will drink my eggnog
,even though my sorrow is in a
state of congelation in my chest.
I will decorate my gingerbread
cookies even though my mind
is a labyrinth of unprocessed
feelings. I will sit near the hearth
and let the fire wash away the
paroxysm of tears from the time
I kissed you goodbye on my
doorstep . I will let my grief put
me under the covers and let
my melancholy sing me countless
Christmas lullabies.
This Christmas I will wrap
myself in memories of your
chestnut eyes and saccharine
skin. This Christmas I shall
make peace with my grief.
Author's Bio:  Syeda Farhin Sultana is a 20 year old student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Assam Don Bosco University. She takes great delight in painting, reading and writing poems. Though she began writing as a means to cope with her dwindling mental health, she has, lately, started taking writing seriously and looks forward to a passionate adventure with it.

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