Praniti Gulyani

 

The Sum of Everything

 

a raw, summer star upon your eyelid,

a crushed grass-blade beneath your heel

the remnants of a dewdrop that cling to your shoe

a bruise of sky on your chin

 

the initial sum of everything

 

you hold an eclipse between your fingers,

like a thin volume of love songs

a shooting star twisted into your lashes

the shape of a song that trickles down your lips

and circles your Adam’s Apple

 

the growing sum of everything

 

there is a crater between your brow,

and, the evening’s sketched onto your arm

mingling with the saffron of dawn on your forehead

this rendezvous of light on your being

 

the combined sum of everything

 

a shooting star chisels a verse,

picks up your wrinkles, and your clinging scars

arranging them onto the expanse of your body

till they read like a poem

something like a poem

 

the ultimate sum of everything

 

 

Negotiating Boundaries

 

Just like every other night, she tosses and turns,

her hair spilling onto my side of the bed,

every lock brushing against my cheeks, 

like the waves of an ocean — still wild and untamed.

 

Suddenly, she sits up straight and pulls her sari

firmly over her partly-exposed breasts.

‘Can I tell you something?’ she asks me, and I nod,

as the shape of unspoken words hover on her lips.

 

I watch the way her lips form the forbidden word,

tasting the molasses present in every little syllable.

Then, her tongue seems to roll around this word,

holding it as tightly as it can, while it can . . .

‘I had a dream,’ she whispers.

 

shifting moon . . .

the new shape

of an old bruise

 

Praniti Gulyani has been writing ever since she was a little child of ten. An avid practitioner of the Japanese short forms of poetry — haiku and haibun, and a theatre enthusiast, She has had her work published in many international journals – both online and print, such as Modern Haiku, The Heron’s Nest, and Frogpond. In addition to that, she has published a print collection of haiku entitled Half a Memory and an ebook of haibun  A Raindrop is a Train Window published by Title IX Press.