4 Poems -Vinita Agrawal

Invertebrate Beginnings

I wish I could feel right now
what I will feel at the end.

The present is delicate
like a tile-winged moth fluttering over the mind.

Like a yellow sailboat butterfly hovering over a pond:
beautiful but not sunk very deep.

What I want is deep.
That thick bottom of wet earth at the pond’s belly

where the mud tightens over your ankles
in a fist like grip, making you revel in its hold.

So that you know you’re planted in it –
a lotus stem – delirious with feeling’s water.

Either that, or just make me feel now what I will
when all this ends, as it must.

…When I become a spectator to your image
viewing you from two feet away or more.

When memory acquires a bone;
a vertebra of contemplation and hindsight.

All endings taste like dead moths –
flaky, papery, curiously unfinished

especially at the antenna
that go about exploring things not in their realm.


Archived/Published on 10.26.2014
First Published by RædLeafPoetry-India



The lake has entered my mind
A thin, tired saucer of water
flesh colored
as big as the key to the deadlock of thoughts.
I’m not decent.
I’m a forceps birth, untouched by the doctors
or by nurses.
Not rejoiced over.
I made my mother cry inside bottomless nights.
I’m the unheard wail inside every well.
I make gods out of dogs in loneliness.
I memorize the brow of every bus I see
because there’s so much space rolling in my mind.
I’ve seen glow worms glowing greenly
under thin brown skin
beaten black and blue.
I’ve seen a rib cage crushed to powder
under the white thick heels of shoeless men
drunk on their maleness.
I’ve seen my mother
who cried herself to faint sunrises
inside thick bottomless nights, die.
Crushed by my torture
of my bleeding parts
needing forceps again
needing clinical touch, again
Needing no touch, again.
Such a soft lake this is,
this existence…
but you made it so hard.
All I was here
for was some honest to goodness love.
The color of rain.
And I would have bestowed
life to grass
outlines to mountains
shine to leaves
just for love.
But you taught me the language
of blades and wounds.
You taught me silence
as vast as the time it takes for an ocean to become the sky.
Now the flesh colored, tired lake
has entered my mind.
Filled me with a desire to drown.
I shall return when allowed to speak.
When glow worms no longer glow greenly
beneath thin brown skin beaten black and blue.
When sixteen is no age to die.
Until then let me reborn as an annelid
cling lovingly to soil
know the intimacy of give and take
know the wind for what it’s worth.


Archived/Published on 10.26.2014
First Published by RædLeafPoetry-India


November is in my lap like an old shoe
Nowhere to walk, nowhere to go
Tattered, torn, worn, abandoned
Lonely like a forgotten imprint, sinking in the sands of time
November is in my lap like a scraggly wet bird
Shivering, burrowing in my thighs for warmth
When the sun comes out, I will teach it to fly
Until then it gazes me with terrified eyes, makes me cry
November is a milestone
Gathering my surrender in lonely miles
Making an autumn heap of promises, a bonfire of hopes
Its face is creased and wrinkled, its face is blue



Homes have no walls
no rooms, no furniture, no thresholds
Nothing through which you might enter
and nothing from which you might want to exit
Because homes are not houses

Homes are built in the eyes
Erected by naked, hungry hearts
In skies, in dew drops, lichen, mosses,
Sometimes on parched, parted lips
Sometimes inside the darkening irises of your eyes

Homes are tender assembles of empty air
Sorted by the linear breaths you lend to me;
Built for unborn little feet to run
And for smiles to sun themselves on broad porticos

My home is in the centre of your palms
Sunk in the wells of your destiny
That you carry like a liquid in your eyes
Or like an abode in your hand, my very own delta
Between the nine mounds of the universe

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