a poem by NILANJANA HALDAR, India

“Tan, I did it. I tore off your book back in class four,
And sneaked away with all those colourful pages",
Silence. Then, “Really? And It took you what, 15 years,
And the sea’s high-rise to realise I knew it for ages?”

Embarrased yet relieved. “ I was desperate, I didn’t have it,
Neither the money to buy that book of beautiful pictures”,
“Relax. I would have always forgiven you, I always felt
Your unfed longings for we really are the same creatures.”

“Forget it then. Ahhhh! Look there’s a sail-boat right up,
White in a Black Sea lined by this necklace of houses”
Chomping popcorns, Tan muttered, “Behold that plane,
Whirring ‘em purple clouds into one of your sketches.”

“Say, we take the steamer tomorrow night, what say Nilz”,
After treating you to vada Pau down Bandra West”,
“Yes. Let me just lie down and stare and think a while,
Michael Jackson, did we fight over him, once, in utter jest?”

“Let me lie down too, it’s past 12 o’clock as the breeze hikes,
Say, I don’t recall lying together over the terrace any day.”
“Tan, never. Look! I think I see Cassiopeia up, at the corner,
As clouds part in plumes revealing portals for the Milky Way.

-By Dr. Nilanjana Haldar

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