2 Poems

by Christ Keivom

PEOPLE, PLACES, AND EVERYWHERE 

There’s a little of yourself in me, you must know.

How I always find a strand of your hair

In everything that I eat.

It’s an instantaneous life like Delhi on a weekend 

And thinking of you instead of schedule or career or

Fame is also transient.

So, with our newest shirts, we picked out a place

…went there 

And what happened? One of us found 

Love with a future instead of a past.

One of us moved on by nights, by writing.

In the city summer felt like being close

To a bleeding star…just warm and alive.

Then it rained. A lot of rain. A lot of you 

In the rain that I would imagine and touch.

Oh and Mumbai for its cobweb of lights. Sikkim 

For when snow blankets the world.

Every place is a visitor. Sometimes a guest. They

Seldom show up twice and we carry them as 

People in our lives even if its only a part of 

Them as long as we can.

I remember it all—

People…Places…Places…People

They all share a face and the face of a clock 

On a wall is the only thing that really 

Sees you (wherever you go).

Then I heard you graduated, I 

Heard you changed the way people find God,

I heard you were settling in a parallel universe.

Far and happy. you felt like freedom: 

An unattainable state of being.

So, I took the eastward buses, then

The westward metros, then all

Buses, every metro. All day. All night. 

There was an awful version of myself 

In every place and in the centre 

You sat on its innermost, softest point. 

What I mean, wherever I went: you were missing.

You’ll understand if I write it all in letters 

Like a man at war, writing home—

I have nowhere to send it but to you—

Written for you— and too late.  

AGAIN AND AGAIN 

After Rainer Maria Rilke 

So this is love. That hour everyone speaks of 

But won’t name. When it’s this slow 

You can touch the rain as it stops mid-air.

We’ve been here before:

Seconds. Moments. Fantasy.

We are at 20s but like Baudelaire

‘We have more memories than if 

We were a thousand years old’

Again and again  

you: in the middle of a chapter 

(even though the plot is over)

And lately, lately feels like a place 

Retrieved from time, happening anew 

How is it that this morning? 

I can feel how afraid you were last night.

How is it that tomorrow promises a future? 

With someone that will stay new. 

Summer returns us to a lacuna in time

Where mistakes are resumed with tender chances.

Almost possible: to believe people are full of petals 

Each one begging in cognitive dissonance 

Will you stay. Will you stay not.  

Underwater the voices of winter anchor 

At bottom of a memory. The old floorboards 

Creak with a familiar sound. Our handwritten names 

Disappear from the interminable list of people 

We pray for. The people we love despite 

Their cruelty. Life and its cruelty 

How it has kept its distance. 

But kept us at arm’s length.

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