Poetry | Summer of ‘09′ & ‘Our Forgotten House’ by Shailee | LGBTQ+ (Vol I) – Issue 35

Summer of ’09’

On a random, summer morning
I dream of the cherry blossoms
Blooming a glorious red;
The idyllic summer of ’09,
The day we met.
Salty heat, the sweaty pillows,
The pattern of a drop of dew
On the misted glass windows
I trace. Fingers intertwined,
Clocks stopped ticking time
When clinking glasses, we drank
Desires from each other’s blood,
Toasting to an eternal love.
Two girls, we trod golden waters-
Our barefoot, evanescent fantasy
Lived another summer morning.

Hands held, dreams spun
Beneath a green forest glade.
Pearl eyes bestowed a warmth,
You even put sunlight to shame.
The cascading summer song-
Bees abuzz, our whispers meld;
God’s creation, intricate spider webs.
We talked, planned, dreamt about
The city we longed to escape.
Red circles on shadow maps.
The rich taste of sour grapes
Enriched with the sweet dates-
Senses on sultry evenings sated.
Nostalgia of tarnished memories-
An oppressive, balmy melancholy-
On random, summer mornings
I remember again, once beloved;
The smile lost in tears
Abundantly hated.

Now a forest of skeletal trees,
Tangled branches, fallen leaves.
I scratch through the rotten fungi.
Futile attempts to reach our beach
Where once we searched for shells
To ornament dream catchers-
They’re too small for dreams
Spanning utopias. You and me
Replaced by
Peering eyes hold hope ensnared.
The hot winds of summer nights
Knock off my Juliet’s pebbles-
They never reach my window.

Poison lost, the dagger broke,
Even the words of poetry eloped.
I curse this fledgling sorrow
I never chose.
Beneath autumn’s dusky gloom,
Cherry blossoms no longer bloom.
When verse finally caught up,
Man’s syllables failed,
Man’s spaces quailed;
The enormity of our love they
Could never accommodate.
I have nothing left to say,
My summer ran out of time.
My thoughts are left behind
With those random, mornings
Of ’09.

Our Forgotten House

I want to live in that house
Where we built windows
Up in the walls of the sky.
They opened to the purple
And pink clouds that poured rain-
Satisfy the thirst of my parched mouth.
I have been screaming too long, too loud,
I have been running and crying,
I have been dying, dying, dying.
This rage can only be doused
In the water from our house.

The mirror in our house
Still stands in that corner-
Golden gilding, cracked
And tarnished. We left an imprint
Of our dreams on the white fog-
Drawn in unsteady hands of youth.
Two girls ensconced in seven-feet
Of gossamer veil, the lace enough
To shield the blissful brides.
Fake weddings, no grooms in sight.
The mirror in our house
Still reflects the innocence,
Our naiveté and passion, the belief
That at the end of the journey
We’ll find our truth.

Across the picket fence,
With its chipped white paint,
The railway track still lusts
After a rusted freedom.
Buried in the soil, it still runs
Over hills, crossing borders
To our secret place.
Our meadows and fields
Where once we planted flowers
Hoping to one day cover our scars.
But there is no beauty in my wounds.
Our dolls lie in mangled mounds-
Twisted necks, broken faces,
Limbs torn across serrated bones.
The blossoms turned to stones,
No one left, no bouquets to catch;
Our ships have run aground.

I want to return to the
Oakwood desk in the house
Where my father’s watch
In battered leather still counts
The time and wait till
My breath runs out.
I want to go to that house
And lie down in the arms
Of my mother’s chair and cry
For the rustling wind we heard
In the glistening corn fields,
The cries of the orange canary
That visited our window sill.
I want to lie on my bed,
Where we stole our first kiss,
Before I say good-bye
To our forgotten house.

Shailee, 22, is an English literature student from Delhi University, India. A budding poet, her work has appeared in AANI- The Voice of IITRAA, M.Etch Newsletter, Miranda House Magazine (2018-19). She is interested in pursuing academic research in the field of gender and sexuality through the lens of Queer theory and Post-colonialism. She seeks to examine themes such as queer love, queer belonging and identity within the Indian space through her creative work.

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