Thursday, July 19, 2012

Aftermath - Cherrie Lalteii Chhangte

You would, perhaps, have me write poems
Of bittersweet love on sun-kissed mornings,
Of how our sandalled feet splashed
Across pavements on rainy afternoons
When monsoon downpours burst
upon us in orgasmic urgency,
Brief moments of ecstasy that left us drenched,
The aftermath infinitely more permanent than the event.
Aftermaths-  that is what it always crumbles to,
Like the precarious towers made of dreams
That we are so adept at building.
How I dreamt that you would be my saviour
From the neurotic web of nothingness
That ensnares me in its fatal allure!
And how you dreamt that I-
I in my fear disguised as calm -
Would embody every pristine boyhood dream you had,
Before the scarlet of betrayed hopes
Left that stain across your battered soul.

Ah, but dreams are fragile, sweetheart,
As you and I well know,
For they crumble to dust
With an untimely question,
A half-articulated doubt,
A wing clipped in mid-flight.
The house of cards you built yesterday
Could not withstand your deep soul-weary sigh.
So we stand across each other
In the debris of the aftermath,
Weighed down by the failure
Of the punchline that was never delivered,
And the climax that never came.

Yes, I think I will write poems
Of bittersweet love on sun-kissed mornings.

Dr. Cherrie Lalteii Chhangte is on the teaching faculty of the English dept at Mizoram University. She writes poetry in English and also does translations from Mizo to English.

Photo credit:  Andrew Lalbiaknunga Ralte