Poetry | ‘Lemon Tart’ by Priyadarshini Gogoi (she/her) | Issue 42, March 2023

Lemon Tart

Because it was hot, and because we were sweaty,
you sweatier because you are hairier than me;
because you said, “Wait, not yet,”
when I reached to embrace you again,
I rolled off my bed,
and ran butt-naked to the fridge
and took out what I had kept, it seemed,
for this exact, very moment.

Then I tiptoed back, and presented it to you—
a paper box with a single lemon tart inside it.
Soon, you were carving your spoon
into the edge of the soft yellow portion,
then you whittled at the biscuit until
you had just the right proportion
of cream to crust.

I watched as you took bite after bite,
steel in gleaming motion,
mouth opening, chewing, pursing,
swallowing in meditation.
I marvelled at your capacity
to have been just now just here, panting,
and then just as easily, suddenly there, slouched, nude and cross-legged,
absorbed reverently in ritual,
lost to the world, present only to tart;
how I loved you then, my heart fit to burst,
you digging your way, bit by focussed by bit,
to the center of your dessert.

Priyadarshini Gogoi is a writer, poet, children’s author and editor from Assam, India. Her poetry has been published on platforms such as The Shoreline Review and The LiveWire, and two of her picture books have been published by Pratham Books, with a few more releasing this year. Several children have told her that she’s cool.

Leave a Reply