I’ll Come to You

crossing the bridge of the fresh grain’s sweet scent
I’ll come to you
just as soon as you accept my words

I’ll come to you
like the cloud
that approaches the mountain summit
and swallows it
only those whose heads are raised
will be able to see it

I want to come to the desert
inside your mind

I’ll come
but not like barbarians do
and not like a bullet
striking its target

I’ll come
I’ll come like new life
comes to a beaten down
exhausted soul

Our Future

that woman said nothing
to that man
to make him hate her

a little rest
hiding from tomorrow’s

this is our future

come here my child!
your father
is what happened
in days gone by

I’m Not Alone

can a hole be a window
through which light can come?

can a hole be a door
through which the darkness can pass?

now I’m not alone
waiting for your blind assault
– and then the explosion

In the Jaws of Seclusion

in the jaws of seclusion
my love is as large as the whole world
glistening in the light of a hundred days

filled with voices
like those
that in the valley of words
don’t resound

but are like
those echoing in the shoulder of an ox
to raise it up
from where the sounds cannot emerge
even after dying

like in the ant’s journey
inside the anthill
or in the snake’s winding path
there are sounds
like the sounds
in the outline
of the rabbit’s large ears

is as big as the whole earth
and the whole earth
is as big as my love
in the jaws of seclusion
my love
which is as big as
everything whose echo
was never a part of language

A Game

so much like me
as soon as he was born that man
who was not Leeladhar Jagoori
was me

my birth alone is a harsh prison
– birth alone is harsh prison
– since birth itself I’ve been in a harsh prison

prisoners need love too
for how long has this been said

first it was here
where my father was trapped
– when I was born he was already a jail guard

from then on what was hard for me
was child’s play for him

Excerpted with permission from What of the Earth Was Saved, Leeladhar Jagoori, translated from the Hindi by Matt Reeck, World Poetry.