This night holds me so tightly in its palm,
as if to never love another, but outside
what remains is the inheritance
and an unfriendly notice.
I fumble through the memories, recalling
promises of life, never loving another.
Softly, I wait until the lush beginning
comes to me. I am pale yet ripe,
seasoned with night clouds,
wondering how the skin is perfected
before the portrait of a wrinkled woman,
from my kitchen to yours, is secretly hung.
My heart weighs the love and lust
as I sprawl within this page, inking
aloneness, swinging the papers
or a naked spoon inward.
–by Lekshmy Rajeev and Sheema Kalbasi
Lekshmy Rajeev is a poet, and literary journalist and translator in English. Her poems have been published in many highly regarded literary magazines & journals. She has translated The Narayaneeyam, a devotional Sanskrit work in the form of a poetical hymn. For over the period of two years she wrote a monthly column on living Indian poets titled ‘Pebbles’ for Deccan Herald newspaper’s Sunday Magazine. She is currently working on the meaning of ancient Indian spiritual texts.
Sheema Kalbasi is a human rights advocate, an award winning poet, and literary translator. Her work is distinguished by her passionate defense of the ethnic and religious minorities’ rights. Her poetry has been translated into eighteen languages to date.
Copyright © 2008 by Sheema Kalbasi and Lekshmy Rajeev. All Rights Reserved.