Poetry: Anshika Sharma

Balconies

City-God of Love reigns, I think,
The balconies of midnight.
Look at them,
Bickering young lovers
Over their phones, in long
Short walks, hands over heads
Over heels,
Drooping back with sudden weight of
Saturation through the day
Neck deep in small talks, these balconies
Are allies in confidence
A modern-day lovers’ Moon,
If you will,
These are awaited, Inhabited, blotted
by and for
The cratering blush in unison.
***


Mother sent a box full of books today

Uglily annotated, with juvenile pencil stars
The inspired underlines sprung out from now yellowed pages,
And hit me on my swollen face.
As I readied my hand to disperse the dirt from between the covers,
I became aware of the sterility of this room I've come in to stay

Albeit distanced, it’s been a while,
My room back home- Mother once told me-
Switches On its lights sometimes,
And looks for me

Today when I crouch sickly before these old books
I had read years ago,
I think of those blue eyes I'd stapled diligently on my canvas walls,
Those pictures, sticky notes,
Those peacock feathers to fan my personal Sarasvati,
Of attempts at imploring her to watch me learn each day,
Even struggle, make mistakes

I wonder if they are still there,
Must have dried out, blind wall hangings, no?
And her?
Does she ever sneak in when those lights turn on,
Or is she mad at me,
A bad runaway student?

I look at my palms,
I see dust, I see chalk, and grey stains,
I don't see her.
***


Vulnerable 

There that sitting on the heart
My guarding spider is battered- it tries-
Its hands daunting although clung in depths,
No longer hold what must be held,
Hide that must be hidden,
Smother that smothered.

I'd thought the distance was dear,
Fortitude, forbearance,
The stuff of gods.

These thoughts were to turn into precious stones
Now runny spillages I don't author,
Without form, no structure
I circumambulate in metaphors that refer only sleazily 
It's terrible and it's shameful,
It is love like all love is.

I fear the spider would die any day, and with no dignity
Abandoning its labour vulnerable on the workable, 
Without notice, it will just leave.

Is there hope of a face save,
Will the nodes in its web fall in a pattern at least?
Will there be rhyme at the end
When I sing its eulogy?
***


Stupor

Tonight,
When I have no words
Strewn in webs of my notes,
I don't have many memories either,
I'm sitting in a rocking chair
In a newly painted balcony of an old house
Sipping from a mug of clinking ice,
Your face has melted in it,
You left like a forgotten year of early childhood
Your white body receded
Against my dark hands,
Your scent,
Let's just say that it lingers here
When those Parijata flowers bloom
On the trees across the street.
***


Do you talk to him about me?

Do you talk to him about me?
It's the question
I am practically screaming daily
At the top of my voice
From the hills I've never seen
But your ears are filled with honey.
No, it's not a complaint
I was just wondering
Would he know if I walk past him
In a dream or for real
That you were here
To fix my hair gotten bad by wind
And lend me lipsticks that I honestly never liked,
By the way, I was clearing some stuff in my room, and
Happened to find a copy of Malouf's poetry
That we bought half and half.
You owe me 90 bucks.
***


Confession

A dying lament in privation of the muse,
A song of transference as I take its place,
Mildly sad, but mostly a carousal-
Confession in poetry.

The hungry obsessions when turn in dry rituals,
Scrapbooking images divorced from memory's animation,
Archiving voice notes sullied with aged noise,
Or having stopped to number days, respecting their leaving,
It's only commemoration.

I've edited this poem, mangled out their person,
There is no addressee here,
I write this to myself.
***


Bio: Anshika is a copywriter based in New Delhi. She is also a poet and storyteller on the side. Her personal essays, short stories, and poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in online publications like Muse India, Spillwords, among others.

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