It is already arranged. 
There in the uncluttered portion of my heart
where simple things lay flat like 
pressed linen cloth awaiting the weight of the fork.
This year, bruised branches split like dry husks
coughing out their hibernating marrow 
against Winter's frosted, relentless betrothal. 
You look older, the tugged downturn
of your eyes, gravities Siamese clamour 
as time winnows her efforts with 
feathering stroke and what is not said
lies dormant like unlit coal in our hearth.
It is written: If you go, I go with you.
We are a chain forged in occidental fate
where night lifts her greying skirts to invite morning.
I watch you turn fitful in your engulfing sleep
all the years flickering like an old 16mm film playing
to sleeping audiences with muted sound.
The click of tape, machine, motion, glossy in dark -- 
we know what we see by the familiar ache provoked.
Your titan hands lifting me over your head 
catching pollen in my assent, drooling joy
like spider’s web will lacquer lustre in dew
moments, so distant, they feel unreal, fiction
forged in time, pockets full of aches, wrapped and stored
like crab apples, promising no worm.
We cannot live with regret so we put it down
and step away carefully, polishing suspended breath
till beckoned back, years hence, your shoulders
dry with prayer, our voices a lament, even
in cold air, where articulation is lost.
I long to protect you, preserve, return, 
stave the crease of time from your brow,
repair the hours fallen in ascendance
where memory has devoured, quilts of bright cold,
patched them against coming shriek of wind
blowing relentlessly about recollections, fragile tinder 
when we were young and redolent with seeded urge
to climb beyond expectations, arms filled with longing
for what is lost now, has no name
no place. It scatters like time, is brushed away by us
when the room was patterned in 1970's hour
paisley print and cold sheets, wan plants leached of sun.
Your young heart then, unemptied as 
my mother's beauty still bore warm flames
possessed of solvent wax and nourished hope. 
I stood in the doorway with my toy badger, 
watching this paper world unfold in mislaid chapters.
Not once did I think of what would not 
still be waiting, as days become decades
we stand on pointe, diminishing photos behind glass
put in drawers, wrecked of momentum
you, almost a stranger in unschooled history 
with your thinned lips and stooped back
a flicker yet, one ember, one familiar evocation…
I am that girl again, claiming your strength
lifted over your head, to spin, and whirl and laugh 
before they blow the candle wick of flame
before we must, before we cannot 
let go.

Originally Published @ Borderless Journal. Reproduced here. Original. Thank you dearly to the Editor-in-Chief of Borderless Journal ( the inspirational Mitali Chakravarty. Her vision with Borderless Journal has been deeply inspirational and she’s got an incredible line-up of gifted writers and thinkers on board. I feel very fortunate to have a regular space with Borderless and I admire what they do immensely. This is my first poem featured on their site, and I’m very honored, as they have some superb poets. Typically I write prose, you can see all my Borderless prose posts HERE.

2 Replies to “ANAMNESIS: Poem published in Borderless Journal”

  1. What an exquisite piece, I’m so glad they’ve put it before more eyes. It is a wonderful journal. Also, any girl who has a stuffed badger is a wondrous fierce creature herself and has my whole heart. 🦡

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