Basant

I think of how my world looked
this time in another life,

the
flamboyance of a purple Jacaranda
twisting around the shy curve of a
Tiger’s Claw, a lover easing down
on another

the
shrugging Forest Flame setting
light to the evening navy of a sky
softly parting through the haze
of the day

the
wild, bitter Bougainvillea describing
its hurt to the pulsing wound of a
Gulmohar laid bare to a story of thorns
and heat

the
welcome of a gentle Amaltas, with
its poison heart, resting on the roads,
a carpet woven of anticipation and
hunger

the
taste of seasons changing, trying
to braid winds into my hair, hoping
I carry the smell of life sprouting
where I am.

 

Instruction for Travel

If you ever think a place has lost its stories and has none to give away, trace yourself back to middle of the oldest body of water it has. It could be a brook, a well, or just a drop hidden between stones that time and heat forgot to steam away. Stand there, feeling the water ripple against your feet, and don’t demand answers. You never deserved them. Instead, crack open your chest a little, and push open a little hole in your heart. Keep it steady, hooking your thumb and index finger through the flesh and letting some blood pour out to make a soft home. Invite the water in, and don’t flinch when your sinew struggles against its introduction. Offer yourself to the water, and ask for questions. They will enter you slowly, first a trickle, and then a flood of all the whys and whats and hows crashing against you till they leak out of your nose and eyes, and all your senses are overwhelmed with all that you didn’t know you hadn’t known. If you hear hard enough, the water will teach you how to ask the questions you should’ve begun with. When you leave, they will slosh inside you, a river you carry inside yourself. Eventually, the river will guide you to the answers, and you’ll find yourself worn smooth and edgeless. You’ll be an answer yourself.

 

Breadcrumbs

I hold my phone crushed against
my palm, it does not crumple like
a gulmohar would–

things I need
to say to you grow out of my throat,
soft weeds that taste like sunshine
bottled in glass jars, but they lose
moisture slowly, till they are not
supple, they do not embrace, but
are tangled;

they clang against my
teeth, now twisted into chains I
never knew could be draped against
words that should have felt like
whole, healthy bodies, not emaciated,
bitter prisoners who did not leave
the darkness because it was all they
had not forgotten-

maybe if I had,
indeed, held gulmohars in my hands,
I could have left a fire-bright trail for
you to follow.

Maybe then, I could have
said what I had to.

 

Harnidh Kaur

Harnidh Kaur

Harnidh Kaur is a part-time poet and a full-time student of Public Policy. Her first collection of poetry, The Inability of Words, released in 2016. Her second book, The Ease of Forgetting, under Thought Catalog Press is a 2017 release. She was a Campus Diaries 25 Under 25 finalist in the Writing category, and was shortlisted for the Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize 2016.

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