You left me
As the detritus
Of years spent
Inhabiting close spaces once,
Where our breaths mixed closely,
—You complaining of my bad breath
That was a turn-off, on moon-lit nights,
In the bungalow, near the placid river, where I heard the songs of the fish,
Tossing on the bed with white linens of the faint and unwashed stains deposited by the earlier visiting couples—
And subtly separated, this uniting breath,
As you turned your face away, slowly,
On an excuse,
That sounded no excuse,
In the farce of
Those enclosed
Interlinked proximities
Once went by the name
Of marital bliss;
The initial warmth
Evaporating from a heart
That once loved a stranger,
But now,
Slowly turning into
Cold rooms without souls and
Lingering solitudes
In the king’s bed,
Lit up by a roaming moon;
The silences pervaded every pore,
Stretching far and deep
As the shining arms
Of shifting sands,
Across the heaving bare desert,
Under a merciless sun
That killed;
Stranded I felt
On such occasions—
The flower solitary,
Blooming in the craggy crevices
Between two rocks,
On an elevated plain
Visited by hungry tourists
With beer cans and other offending objects
Violating the sacred place
Where gods once stayed;
The flower in that crevice,
Dancing in the hot air,
Surviving the odds,
Its pink petals,
Slender stalk,
Its nodding head,
Pollen and all,
Noticed by none,
In the heaving wilderness.

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About Sunil Sharma

Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 22 published books: Seven collections of poetry; three of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award---2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015. Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA: http://www.setumag.com/p/setu-home.html For more details, please visit the website: https://sunil-sharma.com/

2 thoughts on “Hiatus

  1. Louis Kasatkin

    ” Hiatus ” contains a great deal of personal and relational narrative and is in some ways the obverse of that aphorism about ” A Picture paints a thousand words “. From an artistic point-of-view the poem could ,it would seem ,be developed into the basis for a novel or a play for radio. ” Into the heaving wilderness ” ,I must remember that.

  2. Sunil Sharma

    Right, Louis: Here genres converge and the recalling voice rises up and down like a crescendo—very much like the waves crashing and forming at the feet of a singing mermaid in the deep sea, glimpsed by the early Greeks. Thanks—for your comments.

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