[ Issue 7 / November 2013]

1.

I want
to do with you what Pablo Neruda does with
words
Lay you down with precise and controlled violence
amid images of a flagrant spring
Wait! Make that a wanton monsoon
with winds strong enough to tear off your shirt
better still strip you down
to nothing
the sky an unmade bed
with clouds tossing and strewn about
the rain stinging and slapping you all over, not gently
but not in rage, rather with the bridled passion
of a fierce love game
the moonlight, a shaft,
in the parting of your legs

yes, I want to do with you what Pablo did with
poems
Drench you in rain and moonlight, desire and sadness
and mark you as mine.

2.

Body of a man, rippling muscles, ribbed cage
You look like a conqueror getting ready for battle
My delicate woman’s hands stroke you softly
And the sword leaps out from the scabbard

I lie spread out like an open map
Your eyes glint in the dark on reading it
White hills, white thighs, on your knees now
Your hands case out the terrain before invading it

The moment of reckoning is here and I’m loving it
Hot breath, sweet tongue, sharp teeth, sweat and semen
Oh the proud phallus! Oh the heaving hips!
Oh the meeting of fluids! Your voice, a ragged whisper

Body of my man, I will revel in your beauty
Strong sinews, firm hands, marauding lips, a plunderer’s gaze
A forest of unexplored desires lies in silent waiting
Come, release the night bird’s cry from my throat.

3.

Tonight I will write the oddest lines.

Write, for example “The moon’s head is bobbing
up and down upon the white bed linen
of the clouds.”

There is cunnilingus in heaven.
Look there amidst the cumulonimbus there is a tottering-teetering moon
drunk upon the moisture of a languorously parted cloud
See the cloud’s black tresses are thrown back in delight
and pour down upon us
as dark rain.

Tonight I will write the oddest lines.

Like there is no loss like that of strangers
who’ve never met, never made out.

For every love you’ve met and who has met you
there are countless you’ve never known, will never know
No flash of recognition, no tingling under the skin, no ache in the limbs
The empty night is emptier for the absences inside of it.

Tonight, I will write the strangest song.

It’s for lovers who’ve never known sorrow, grief, parting, wretchedness and heartbreak
since they’ve never met.

Tonight I will write the oddest words of solace

To the unborn, the unmet, the unshed, the unsaid, the unhurt and the undamaged
for the loves and lovemaking that could have happened
but didn’t.

Open wide your mouth and taste the falling rain
swallow a mouthful of the sky, laugh at the moon’s bobbing head
under the cloud’s duvet.
Hear the cicadas go wild in the silence of the night. Take heart.

Perhaps, there is immoderation in heaven, yet.

Manjul Bajaj grew up in Lucknow. She studied Economics at Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, and did her post graduation from the Institute of Rural Management at Anand. She has worked as a consultant in the field of rural development and the environment. She now lives in Gurgaon with her husband, two sons and a dog. She is the author of ‘Come, Before Evening Falls’, and ‘Another Man’s Wife’. She is currently working on a series for children, the first book of which ‘Elbie’s Quest’ has been published recently.

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