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CategoriesFiction & PoetryPopular Media and SexualityVoices

Poems

Girl, when you

blow your boy,

or boy, when

you go down

on her, or when

both of you use

a toy, and all the

world’s a blur,

I know it feels

like heaven, you

too violate 377.

 

Moments before she died

(December, 2012)

It is the night of foreboding

her skin is again

translucent

and all the past is a story

without a moral

this night refuses to rest

on little promises

recalling again the promise

the coral stone of a world

very different from the one we live in

this night remains

like shell-shock

lies like a fetter –

this waiting for bad to get worse

for it to get better

this night hangs in the air

like the deserter

who has seen through the war,

his world is now refusal

(that night, the first thing she asked

when she was conscious again

was whether they had been caught)

she lived each moment she died

each

and this night remains

because she has offered her sleeve to hold

but we are not bold enough

to reach.

 

Kiss

tr. from Mangalesh Dabral’s Hindi prose-poem ‘चुंबन

The history of the kiss is as old as mankind but it is usually nothing more than dry descriptions or adverts of the famous, or the longest or the shortest kisses. A kiss always happens outside history. In that false world, the incandescent lips of two people come so close to each other that you can hear them tremble. All the blood from the body runs to the lips, all thoughts already gather on the lips, softly the heart reaches there and the soul finds there, a home. This is that moment when a flower blooms small bird takes flight stars shine somewhere from under the earth you hear the water flowing but each of these usual events occur in a way that shakes the ground you stand on. At last, the blood returns and the heart resumes its old role of pushing it through the entire body. Thoughts come back to mind and the soul returns to the wilderness. Now everything is ordinary again. We have narrowly escaped a storm, or a fire. We are alive and have returned to history, and are heaving a sigh of relief.

Painting By Georgia O’ Keeffe (Public Domain)

Article written by:

Akhil Katyal is a writer and translator based in Delhi. He finished his PhD on Sexuality and South Asia at SOAS, University of London, and currently teaches literature at Shiv Nadar University. His poetry and translations are widely published.

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