Reena R.


I was six when we climbed up the water tower, my father and me
The clouds, a jump away, a blue glass behind them
My pigtails flew up in the breeze that the mountain threw
Lying down, my face against the cool concrete, I saw you
Large, hissing, serpentine monster, grey tongues rolling every way, swallowing green patties
carrying towers on your chest, your arms tattooed with spring flowers

The blue was a splinter hurting my eye, the sun set my bare heels aflame
I ran around the water tower deck, fascinated
By your gargantuan limbs over which toy-sized cars raced and buses honked
Matchbox houses hung on hill sides, some fallen off littered your green hair
Climbing down, my knees wobbled
Afraid to step on you
Afraid of you

My city, sadly you have been tamed. A solivagant trudges carrying you inside a backpack never opened You fill the letters she writes with hiraeth
Your street graffiti is a poem that she writes and re-writes
In your fields she lies when homesick, your mulberry breath never far from her cheek.

The crows homing into your trees, murmurations above, the garden of first love, the suicide point, the moon-rise cove, the rains that wet the soul, the blast of petrichor, the tremulous vines with white flowers, the rumble of thunder, the susegad accents and rollicking laughter
Thunderclap monsoons, dry water coolers, yellow roses, a parched river

No more do I know of you or want to know
if you have changed like me
I wait for the sonder to sink in
I was so in love that I swallowed the monster