Properties of Rapture

Enraptured like a butterfly

Drawing deep on nectar,

You confront

In the sweat from a sudden halt

Of wind, time, and the current of dreams.

Your room’s oppressive fracture,

Suffused with the skin-glow

Of a cobra, its hood aloft

You twist and tug at the thick rope that rolls

The sun along into the room.

Ecstatic from the blood of life

Coursing through your body,

You light the furnace of dreams. Not one to mind

The rising smoke, you kept blowing, and found

The first line of blazing verse.

You recalled the nubile girl, who,

Alone in a room, shamelessly strains

As if to breathe in the air with her whole body.

The soothing coolness of an elephant

Worrying the water with its trunk to let even

The last drop of pain’s pus fall and scatter,

Entered ‘the depths of your heart.

It’s but the yearning for life

That will lever the rock

With a plough’s sharp edge; make

The spring of life gush forth; and write

The song of another season

In the scream of the hurricane’s howl

Between the windpipe’s branches.

I long for you too to witness

The splendour of these falling golden flakes, this dawn.


Trees stand upright, devoid of airs

Birds roam aimlessly

Clouds, one of their species,

Are afloat without wings

It was certain now that the time of rain’s begun

Horses were deep in their practice run,

With magic a-whirl in their eyes

Like vines, the colour of rain had spread

On their drenched backs and streaked down

Unknown even to the rain, the scavenger was sinking

Along with the rain’s damage

There was no better season in which

To weave the body’s history:


When the snow-body, molten

In the heat of breath

Met the eye,

Life’s fount opened its lips and flowed

In the evening, when another time called,

The body wore, and wore again, those garlands

Of fire; was gutted

In the morning that greeted and spun you around

In the zones of breath, love itself

Was Death’s scented pollen

In the hard rain that lops your head off

And flings it on the ground,

As wheels turning within a wheel,

Life’s eye shrinks to its essence


It was in that city deficient

In sperm count, where

Laden nights passed, that I met her.

In the groves that beckoned me to understand

The loneliness she made familiar,

Sounds of falling fruit that birds chewed and spat out

Would stun me, like someone following furtively behind.

Lean cats prowling for dried fish

And snakes racing now and again across the courtyard

Would drag her house bereft of electricity’s hues

Towards realms of magical fiction.

Trimming the lamp’s wick, and casting

On the wall a gigantic shadow of her bare body,

She would tell me shadow tales spiked

With the milk of my forefathers.

Only buds that are yet to flower

Wouldn’t have heard or known such tales.


She who obsessed over the body

Started a trade for its sale;

After scraping clean the body’s slush

From her underclothes, and

Making the body whole,

She carried it, as in a lamp-lit

Procession at the temple festival.

Wearing a radiance beyond the oppressive heat,

Everyone followed her

Like wet clothes hung up to dry,

They were worn out by lust’s torments

By and by. They stoned her

Carrying her lamp, she fled down those streets

The city itself caught fire, burned.

We now look on piteously

At the tents coated with the body’s ash,

Firemen are still at their task

Of rescuing the body.


As seedlings, several centuries ago,

Breasts sprouted in her body’s black soil

She forgets them sometimes, as they quiver

Among the straining bodies.

As the sun goes down, they boom like conches

Very close to her heart.

A thread of rain enters in her and unravels; then

Lust’s teeth rise all over her body

If those conches were to open their mouths,

They might speak of her body’s travails.


The day destroys the night’s holy processions

In the torment of being pregnant with a word

Untouched yet by anyone’s heart, finger and lip,

Her body yearns. Yearning is what it must do.

In this rainy season of lakes filled

With ashes falling from the sky, it lives

Like a virgin-seed battened with its own fruit.

Patterns drawn by a child’s fingers, distinguishing

By touch, the eyes, hair

And other organs of a flower,

Have strung her body together,

As the roots of a plant grip the soil tight.

In the dimples of fleshy organs sits,

Cowering, her endless hurt

We who together sip our sweet drinks

From different glasses, savour

Our separate memories alone.


Standing alone in the woods and writhing

At the touch of the finger that stalks

That continues still.

When I return by the same path,

It lies there limp

Like a noose-rope broken.

Flowers of the night

Are awake, like the lidless eyes

Of corpses.

In the din of the body sprouting machines all over,

A child’s smile weakly sputters

In the lash of the season’s rain,

The eye’s flame is dimmed; goes out.

We are not angels, after all.

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