take a scalpel to my temple and carve out;
frame your questions and let my dreams splay
out on your petri-dish. ask me what I really want.
and here’s what I’ll tell you: sometimes, I want to
be framed like a Guru Dutt film,
I want to be nothing but cotton balls and luminous
umbrellas shadowing lovers with cups of sake.
I want to hide, blush and drape myself in my
embarrassing ardour. I want to be a black coat and
a graduate’s moustache, perhaps the last blot of grey
ink on a dying poet’s poem for the muse who faded
away and left a stale smell winding through his fingers.
I want to be the sum of all the softness a girl and
her anklets might carry, but I find that I must
crawl through gravel and the back of my weary hands
to get through.
Sometimes, I want to be a Mani Ratnam film: towering
landscapes that fail to eclipse my lust for life, intimate
spaces between lovers I find myself breathing past, the
ceaseless, eternal roar of the seas that raises a crescendo
of completeness in my bloodstream. Maybe I’m just a girl
looking for something new to shatter over.
Sometimes, stories about sad girls around architectural
marvels will do. I could wind myself tight around a
medieval lighthouse, maybe breathe in the loneliness
plastered in its cobblestoned silence, maybe walk around
in thrushes like an invisible blip of my mother’s existence.
Sometimes, poems wearing boots and walking around
in London will do. If poetry didn’t save me and hold me
together like a house holding all its broken windows in
fragile, teetering place – would anyone, then, tie lace
around my fingers and keep me from vanishing?
Anjali Bhavan is an engineering undergrad. Her work has appeared/is forthcoming in Speaking Tree, Porridge Magazine, Coldnoon International, Allegro Poetry Review and Sooth Swarm Journal among others. She currently writes according to her moods, and looks forward to oddball experiences.