Meena Kandasamy

1984 - / Chennai / India

A Poem In Which She Remembers

'We were not lovers, we were love.'—Jeannette Winterson

The woman you once knew
will not own up to her face.

She'll tie her hair in a topknot,
guard its million tangles, skip
kohl that once defined her eyes,
forsake the gypsy jewellery, milk
cigarettes in her mouth, and stop
herself from dancing in the rain.

She'll curse her restless anklets
that break the silence of cruel days,
bury herself under a blanket that
betrays the shame of night hungers,
and sleep herself to a dream
of waking by your side.

She'll write you the daring first lines
of long love-letters she will never
send, struggle to prevent a poem
from forming within her mouth,
and in its place, feed the promises
of your kisses to her eager tongue.
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