The sun drips from our tin roof.
The white wall of our house
absorbs the old apple tree’s shadow,
turning it into a wonder.
Your bicycle rests below fiery Chinars.
 
In the kitchen a stove burns,
on the table an old copper samovar,
the lingering aroma of kahwa,
translucent sugar, local breads, pickles
raisins and walnuts, all wait.
 
Two low wooden stools, a bench
and copperware gleaming in the sun.
Half burnt incense on a silver plate,
In a nearby room, tapestry cushions,
rugs, kangris and hand woven shawls.
 
Photographs of us posing, silverware,
a curio cabinet, on its top a cigarette case.
Neatly arranged on the dressing table,
silver jewellery, a comb, a kohl stick,
and a walnut box waiting to be filled.
 
Jasmine floats in a crystal bowl
next to the bed, a quilt is folded neatly,
a pair of slippers on the floor, musty books
on shelves. On the wall a calendar,
a notepad hanging next to it.
 
On the rose and green shaded porch,
a paddle loom dressed for work.
On the steps I wait, as I do every day—
my belly swollen, a lotus bud in my hair—
for your return to make this house a home.

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Tikuli is an Indian blogger and author. Her short stories & poems have appeared in print and in online journals & literary magazines including Le Zaparogue, MiCROW 8, Troubadour21,The Smoking Book (Poets Wear Prada Press, US), The Enchanting Verses Literary Review, Mnemosyne Literary Journal, Women's Web, Life And Legends, Levure littéraire . A few of her poems have been translated in Italian and read at poetry festivals in Italy. Her print publications include poems in Guntur National Poetry Festival Anthology & much acclaimed Chicken Soup For The Indian Romantic Soul (Westland). She blogs at tikulicious.wordpress.com. Her debut poetry book 'Collection of Chaos' was published by Leaky Boot Press, England in January, 2014.