poetry picks

Five poems of longing for the sizzling month of May

The third in a monthly series of selected poetry on different themes.

After the torso

Deepika Arwind

comes longing. The odd rocket of desire
that picks up and loses orbit, but not at will.
Do you remember –
how aroused you were when you brought your feet
home, bleeding from hanging too long on bus footboards?
Then we pressed like jigsaw.
(After that we would never be pre-torso.)

is a gentle road. The universe of
the lower limb, the use in desperation to leave to run to come
back fill full circles stretch in love and sun to sweep with slippers
on filth to snake through sand and water.

There must always be afternoon after the torso and the creak
of a bone, sighing, like a novel at its end.

is a deluge of carnivals in the sea, swaying to the
sound of a slow fuck. A tireless hole of cum, its drip,
enunciated by your hips.
After the torso is defiance, a very brief
critique of authority.


Sharanya Manivannan

All day I have looked for you as
the heat rises from the asphalt

and the wilting laburnum

garlands the city like
a bride or a corpse.

Now and then,
I pretend I can escape
the labyrinth of your many lies.

But the route is made of smoke and
sophistry. Bottle-blue mirages quench my need,
summon the salt-sweet of your skin.

Bone-drunk, I am drawn back to
the waterless landscape of your neglect,

spellbound, I take them –
a sequence of sun-scorched
footsteps into precarious stepwells,

the blaze in my throat as painful
as a desire to sing.

Ripe Apples

Randhir Khare

You taste of ripe apples
When I hold your skin
To my mouth,
Tongue touching hair.

I know I shall lose you
When I find you:
And your thighs
Slipping from me,
Breaking my nets –
Will swim into the dark.

I shall awake alone,
A taste of ripe apples
On my lips.


RK Singh

he melts into her
time stands still

the sound of orgasm:

Making love
she tastes the salt upon
his shoulder

Candling in vein
leaves marks of teeth on her neck
utters holiness

the white night:
lips meeting lips

Writes with strands of
watery hair on her bare back
a love haiku

After the tumble
buried between the sheets
leftover passion

She departs
leaving behind her clothes
over mine

*”A great sound is inaudible, and a great image is formless,” said Lao Tzu.

Since You Have Gone

Ribhu Singh

Since you have gone,
the birds have stopped pecking at my window
to wake me up,
mornings have lost their warmth –
day finds me trapped in the darkness of my small room,
nights have lost their darkness -
a faint light flickers in my room throughout the night,
keeping me awake.

Since you have gone,
the home-made sweets in pure ghee
have lost their sweetness and lay half-bitten,
attracting red ants,
flowers have forgotten to bloom –
my garden withered,
the trees have shed their leaves –
autumn knocks at the door.

Since you have gone,
the wind has stopped blowing –
singing in my ears –
everything is still like my thoughts

But now, I hear a bird,
singing its melodies alone
in a silent, quiet corner of my garden.
The crops are ripe and the farmers
blow their trumpet –
singing and dancing, in joy.

Do I hear your footsteps at the corner of my street,
turning towards my unfrequented door?

Oh do come, my visitor,
I have waited long for you.

This selection is curated by Rohini Kejriwal. She also curates The Alipore Post, a daily newsletter stemming from a love of​ art, poetry, music, and all things beautiful.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
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