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  May 2016 Kastoori Barua
Kevin Eli
Warm summer blooms from the cold spring
When rain falls and snow melts
Flower petals show off their life and vibrance
Roses don't care for November
While the orchids dream of summer nights
Few violets will have memory of winter
Yet I will remember them all of my life
Kastoori Barua May 2016
White plum blossoms gently blew above my head,
As I read my book of verses under the moonlight;
Delicate wisps smoke coiled around me,
Lovingly like an evanescent snake,
I looked up to see a light that barely wavered,
Behind the smoke of a cigarette.
It was you, you came to me,
With a bottle of warm rice-wine
To complete the unfinished scenery
Of the moon, blossoms, lake and wine.

It hadn’t been too long since I met you,
I remember clearly how startled I was
To behold you in your singular beauty,
Standing between the shelves of old books,
Your back towards the window
Where a crescent moon hung, punctured,
By your magnificent head.
And I could not help mistaking you
For an enchanting lunar demon,
For I had never seen such beautiful black hair,
That shone like beaten silver in the moonlight.

And every night we would have conversations
By the windows of the silent reading hall.
Those long talks of solitude and insanity,
Of dark, restless, sleepless nights
Of moonlight weighing heavily on you
And I, promising to take the moonlight away
From the very moon I read my books under;
Tied us together with invisible strings
Till we had nothing to talk endlessly on.
One had to be careful with that silence,
It ate right into the darkness of the night
Till it imperceptibly swallowed us whole.
And now the library became lonely,
For all the nights to come.

But tonight, you wandered to me
In this sleepless, waking, sultry hour,
And tonight, I knew I would take liberties;
I would break through the chrysalis,
Of my broken dreams to savor you.
Your body stiffened against my hard breathing,
My fingers crept up, as if to taste what it felt like,
But you clasped my hand and sat us on the ferry.

Reclining, I stared down at the glassy surface of the sky
Picking up stars in cupped hands as the cicadas pined away.
For a moment I felt like adorning your hair with them,
But no, those stars shone too feebly to adorn
Your silvery, astral shock of hair reminiscent
Of numberless comets traversing the universes.
I let the stars slip through my loosened fingers,
Back to the alchemies of the dark, shifting cosmos
While you rowed us till we were in the midst
Of fireflies floating among the mists and water-lilies.

Oars vanish into the silent waters like wraiths;
Leaning on one side of the ferryboat you flash a smile
The next moment the boat is tipped.
I feel the water engulf and enter me,
I see you beside me, floating under the surface
Like a water-sprite, your arms around my shoulders.
I look up to see the surface above me glimmering silver
The water is warm, and comforting
I feel safe, oblivious but contented.

But before I sleep I must confess
That I do have just one regret:
All the poems that I have written,
Are all the ones that are no longer close to my heart
Which is why, I’ve committed them to paper.
The ones that matter to me, are locked safe in my heart
And that I carry more poems to my watery grave
Than the ones that have been papered.
And you, my demon, you,
Have taken me for yourself,
The best poem of all.
It comes now without
preamble or announcement,
On the ending of the poignant
symphonic overture,
Or, the melodramatic moments,
of a romantic drama on TV.
A sunrise or sunset can do it.
A story retold with child innocence
recounted by one of my grandsons,
can bring me to my emotional knees.
My son calls it the result of my brain
operation a few years ago,
This emotional tearing up,
of my excess humanity.

I like to think it is a reward of sorts,
a blessing of age and well-earned maturity.
Sensing the end of the long traveled road,
gives my humanity, a focused clarity.
Kastoori Barua May 2016
Thick glasses till high school,
Long hair done up in a pony tail,
With a lollipop between her lips
Tinted with a strawberry lip balm,
And lemon drops in her pockets,
She graduated and entered grad school.
Lenses replaced those nerdy glasses,
Siren red colored her lips instead--
Lipsticks were here to stay and reign.
Lollipops were childish, but cigarettes thrilled,
Smoked with élan, only to bring bored numbness
Behind those costly sunglasses hiding her eyes,
Set snugly into her neat brown chignon.
Little did they know, though beautiful,
She refused to led down her hair,
For her demons would go on a rampage
And her illness would devour her:
That which was kept at bay,
By anti-depressants in her pockets
A wistful dirge for her golden days.
When you sing
                                                                ­                           I cry

When as stars you shine
                                                                                    I wonder
                                                                ­                   and sigh
You live in the hollow
                         of my moon

               eating my shrooms

You glitter bright
               to my arms delight

Your comet eyes

Milky way smile

Star cluster hair

Nebulous wiles
and cares

Have caught me intentionally
                                                   ­   unaware
Kastoori Barua May 2016
His language would be his skin,
Rubbing against mine--desirous.
His words would be his fingers
Slowly parting the opacity,
Of my febrile, trembling body,
And entering me steadily, ceaselessly
Between my widened eyes and breathy gasps
Of dialogic, intellectual *******...
If Literature was a man.
Your fingers dapple the contours of my face,
like layers of a warm blanket
you peel back and
rest beneath my skin.
This sheer vulnerability.
I'm prejudiced to feel unguarded
and I'm afraid.
Not of you, but of love.
Of the things it would do to me.
Of the scars it will leave behind.
God, I'm trembling again...

Your kisses calm the waves
crashing against my skull.
I'm terrified
of love
and the autopsy it would do on me
once I'm lifeless after you've left me.

Still breathing but not alive.
I don't want to be a casualty of love again.
My stitched together brokenness will
surely break this time again under it's heavy toll.

But I'll do it again, for you and for me.
Because I love you. And Us.
I'll set aside the love for me, to love you more.

More than everything,
Because I love *love.
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