Saturday 10 August 2013

Poetry 2013 Shortlist, Rinzu Rajan


Six years
I counted them as six minutes
or six lives
sixth was the day
sixth the month
when I stabbed you
to six deaths.
Outside my house
mountains rose out of molehills
wrecked wheels transformed
into cars and coaches
markets became malls
towering the streets
while women wailed
against crimes of lust and loathe
even with a lady of husbandry.

Here in my country nothing changed
I still tie my hair in a bun
wear barrettes and love my grey
abhorring with audacity
my obsessive compulsive disorder
of scrubbing tables,
floors and my brown skin
of dirt and disgust.
While poaching plants to
fill my belly and heart
practising dishes
I never wanted to cook for you.
And in these six years
I've loved children
deserted by spouseless mothers
and starving men
seen muted maidens step out
of their porches
after being cremated till dry,
fallen in love with coccus creatures
those that levitate light.
Cribbed and choked in cliché,
poetry you may call,
not worn my veil
in respect to men
tongue tied them
in a vain act of valour
mooted and mimed
their dominating desire
to love me as a woman.

When I learned to
brew my coffee
without bitterness
I realized six men
had walked past me

the first and third loved my poetry
while the second condoned it to banality,
the fourth with bibs around his neck
wanted to braid a noose for me,
the fifth never existed
in my poems and parables,
and then on another sixth
a sixth one walked in
the one who gave me a garland of gold,
my marauded earth swallowed all five
while nailing the sixth in your coffin
And I developed cold feet
those without cracks
and forgot the number six.

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