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POETRY / What We Cannot Keep / S.B. Easwaran

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Nothing stays with me. Everything we used
or spared is heavy with the lessons

the evening's leaf storm and rain
have been gently teaching the streets.

Nothing stays with her. She knows it.
We are forsaking the stories we made up

in this hall's weightless darkness,
floating in a blue flutter of light.

A few gulmohar petals, once flame red,
lie curling on the bare grey floor.

The same hall, the same pale light,
and it could be a morning distant in grief,

a breakfast shared in the white sheets:
tea, omelets, a dark heap of dates.

We paint ourselves a mingled memory
of wet words in a clinging storm

that congeals pleasure into folds
and bitter flesh into pulpiness.

Our yielding absorbs what we never
could keep from each other, cannot keep.


S.B. Easwaran is a journalist who works in Delhi, India. He writes poetry, short stories and flash fiction. His poems have appeared in Prosopisia, a small Indo-Australian literary journal, and the International Literary Quarterly (interlitq.org).