The Promiscuity of Distance

but Delhi, thirteen hundred miles away,
still feels like an arrhythmic heartbeat,
its old summer breath alive and warm,
sand like rubble in the pores of its skin,
tasting of lychees and parchment
and a time long gone;

yet this graveyard, a mile, maybe two, down the road,
watches everyday as my feet rush past,
hesitant, urgent, blind,
past the flower sellers on remembrance day,
baskets of lilies and marigold,
the smell of death and strangers
and time unknown;

for what is near can seem so far
in a way that far can never seem near,
it is the promiscuity of distance,
the edge-less uncertainty of space
that swallows fingers,
a phone that will not ring,
yet damns itself counting time,
growing bigger and heavier with each second,
a measure of stretching silence;

tell me how much further is the horizon,
already the sweet sea gurgles around my ankles,
tell me how much closer is the moon,
already the silver ropes bind my feet,
it is the wanton myth of distance,
it is the debauchery of points in a plane,
tell me can you see the beginning
right where I can see the end
already the miles sink into a quasi middle.

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39 thoughts on “The Promiscuity of Distance

  1. the conjoining of promiscuity to the notion of distance is pure poetry and the words that follow are tantalisingly suggestive of time and place not quite seen or felt by the reader
    “it is the wanton myth of distance,
    it is the debauchery of points in a plane,”

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  2. It is the debauchery of points in a plane,
    tell me can you see the beginning
    right where I can see the end

    One often faces a dilemma of not knowing the extent of what had been achieved. It is good to reflect on them every now and then!

    Hank

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  3. How well I know “what is near can seem so far
    in a way that far can never seem near”!
    I like the taste and smell and heaviness of time as it ssttrreeeettchch-es. Well-chosen details resonate. I do prefer the distance to the cemetary, though. DIstance has less finality.

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