The moon is what it is

We look for formless visions of ourselves in the
distance. But we haven’t found ourselves, not

even lost ourselves. Not yet. Between us is the
desert of halves. Is love more memorable when

it fails? More likely to last forever? I am told to
find bigger things to be grateful for: sperm,

geometry, the blue probability of a kingfisher. I
thank pain that fills fissures like wet cement so I can

wake up whole in the morning. It was happiness
that broke us when we weren’t looking. The

moon is what it is — a fiction of movement and
light. It is the sky that is unfaithful. Or the mind.

I make lists of small things, unclaimed things,
unproclaimed things: Quarter past two in the

afternoon, steamed rice, my name, uncertain,
sitting like a wingless crow upon a stranger’s lip.



In other February news, am delighted to be one of ten poets named by The Ekphrastic Review in their annual awards list. Very grateful to the editor, Lorette C. Luzajic. Do check out this brilliant platform if you read/write poetry in this genre. This award is for my poem, Corollary, which is on their site as well as in my book, Water to Water.

And if you haven’t read my first flash fiction piece yet, here’s the link. Let me know what you think. Better yet, share your flash fiction as well!



There are mornings, more mornings
now, when I try to separate love from
myself. I describe my face to the silence
as a stranger would, to another, after
a brief encounter. I describe my love
to the mirror as a bird would explain
light to another, in the dark. I describe
our time together as a fish would
talk of wetness to another, not knowing.
Your fingers comb through the lines,
trying to distinguish reason from craft.
But a poem is only a corollary. A
consequence that has subsumed its
cause. The glass in our window is
neither inside nor out. The sky becomes
a sky only when we look up. You
describe distance to me as a road would
to another, as a beginning or ending.

The Kiss, by Edvard Munch (Norway) 1897.


Published today in The Ekphrastic Review. Many thanks to the editor, Lorette C. Luzajic


Physics Will Not Have It

Woman in an Interior, by Vilhelm Hammershoi (Denmark). 1909.

To be like glass, throwing patterns of light instead of dark
shadows, pools of daytime art in infinite detail, every

filigreed ripple of love and fear and guilt and torment, the
excruciating minutiae of the broken heart spilt on hardwood

floors and asphalt roads, climbing brick walls into dimensions
we dare not dream of; but physics will not have it, physics

was born before love, what does it know of spaces with no rules,
of pain, keeping us tethered to the earth while the sky whispers

urgently each dawn; by noon I am reading the murky shapes
like tea leaves, trying to find tomorrow in whatever is left

behind, by dusk, the blur stains the window, the corners are
drawn one by one into the centre, by then, by then, it is too late.


Thank you Lorette C. Luzajic, for publishing my poem at The Ekphrastic Review.

Sin Collector


Still Life with Five Bottles: Vincent van Gogh


Collecting sins in old bottles, the days reach out and drop them
in like pebbles, still smelling of fond river beds. Yesterday, it was

the temptation of an improbable love, too big to fit into that
slim hipped flask, but sin is pliable, twists and changes as it is

gathered, as we change its name, change its colour, make it
bearable in the morning. When all those hours, all those words,

all that feel of skin on skin has been corked, when the bottles fill
the shelves and rooms and toss and turn on the breasts of the

tides, when everything has been cleansed and bathed and the rain
never stops falling, tell me then, when did love become a mistake.


Thank you Lorette C. Luzajic, for publishing my poem at The Ekphrastic Review.

This Is Your Game


Source: Wikipedia

Describe the painting, you whisper in my ear, without
using the words for colour. This is your game. The way

you stood with me in Figueres looking at Dali, daring me
to describe the persistence of memory without alluding to

time. I tell you about the way blood thickens when breath is
stolen from it, the way an empty evening coagulates into a

lonely night, the way a bruise heals until a faraway memory
picks at its scab again. Your eyes become the charcoal residue

of a long forgotten passion. This is your game. The way you
can bring me a cloud from a burning sky to sing the song of

dormant thunder and then shrug. Tell me why you’re happy,
you whisper in my ear, tell me without asking about love.


Published at The Ekphrastic Review  on 6th Dec 2017. Many thanks to the editor, Lorette C. Luzajic. 

But the Moon is Vulnerable

Thanks again to the editor, Lorette C. Luzajic, for publishing my poem at The Ekphrastic Review.

The Day After by Edvard Munch, 1894 – 1895


She casts her best shadows on naked skin, her unformed before
patterning the afterward with stories from the empty dark, her

angst dissolving in the comfort of her own transience. But the
moon is vulnerable in my bed. Let’s sit at the table, she says,

this wine turns to viscous ebony at a touch, untethering stories
too harsh for the afternoon sun. Remembering is a game of faded

horizons and soft lips, slaughtering hearts on chequered silver
and night. We hold love softly, in the palm of our regrets, gravity

gyrating against the rising wind, breath still heaving through the
twisted loop of infinity, dreams travelling to the seams of impossible

want. The morning found her, my answers still trapped like stars
behind her sleeping eyes. They say where she had lain alone, the

air still smells of watered rosebuds, the blemished light still pools
on the floor where it dripped slowly from her outstretched hand.


Many thanks to the editor, Lorette C. Luzajic, for publishing my poem on The Ekphrastic Review. This is the first time I attempted a poem in this genre and am delighted it was accepted.


(Art: Rainstorm Over the Sea, by John Constable)

But how can a storm be elegant, the contortion of
the visible expanse, incoherent elements clamouring

for release, morning pretending to be a newly birthed
night, night lit up like a funereal morning, didn’t we also

do it awkwardly, dumping darkness into the space
between us, letting the light grind into the ugliness, we

could sit naked on the parapet to see if the rain understands
when the earth says no or trace the immorality of the tempest

to a karmic reduction, a consequence even after it is removed
from its cause, but you stand there, smiling, the universe

reduced to a point on your finger, telling me why the
frenzied sky tries to shred itself so it can become

water, after the penitent water has patiently gathered
itself, day after day, to become the sky.