She slips into mind, every year, about this timewhen spring hesitates to get to summer, dithers;
a dancing graph, light of dawn, in one straight line
from the sun over the water, she too shivers
just like that; the sunrise reflects on the man-made pondlike her smile, and I am more mindful, notice then
without knowing why. They tell me some unnamed bond
ties me still, ties me fast, closer than tight apron
the only ends, the cosmic chasm the last vessel.
They tell me she’s a better place, they know it’s trash -
the feel good chants, cosy hype, raised snug levels.
It doesn’t matter where she’s gone. She was here.That’s what counts. And that quiver. This time of year.
Did I tell you how soft she was? How soft her lapand what she wore slung over her back? always white
but stained with my finger-marks, turmeric mishaps;
did I tell you that her smile was like the first sunlight
filtered through leaves, slanted on streams, dappled glee;that taut peace of the needle when north is found?
the high-noon ice-cool solace of the filigree
shade of trees? that flock of birds overhead homeward bound?
Did I tell you how frail her arms, and yet how widetheir love, how strong their resolve, how tender their touch?
all floated into oceans now on countless tides,
whatever remained after the fire, and that’s not much.
As I can’t lay petals on cold tongues of headstonesI lay words here, writing blind, not knowing whereon.
It’s no use now telling me that the earth still bendsmagnetic lines from south to north as it always did
and if I held my compass up the needle ends
would still align; but there’s no peace left in the grid.
Never again the same refuge in an unstitched cloth,never again her fingers on my hair and brow.
Let all needles point always to the axis north
what difference can it make to anyone now?
It’s a barefaced lie that I said she comes to mindonce a year, on occasion, when the seasons cusp;
I haven’t kept an exact count - how many times
I’ve thought of her since she turned to ashes and dust.
But still sunlight’s on the pond, a sudden flickerabout this time every year. When seasons dither.
One by one the reference points change their spotsfrom living homes to burning ghats and then nowhere;
not a cordoned off mourning zone, just nothing, nought!
just an immense gulf, a cosmic gulp of ash and air.
The deepest loneliness is born of crippling griefthe more they chant the placebos, the deeper it gets
a flicker of light on a wave brings little relief
from this music of lies the myths of light around death.
Where are the new cardinal points, where do I go?now that those wrists have no more an earthly address
no coordinates to mourn at and pent-up sorrow
doesn’t light the way out of any loneliness.
Maybe this is all there is to navigate it with:loneliness, and flickers of light; music and myth.