LADAKH

It’s a timid love
Drawing arcane patterns
On my shivering skin
Hold fast, hang on, sit tight
I’m breaking you in,
I’m breaking me in
 

Conversations like a-
A puppet without a marionette
And shy pauses,
Shaken loose from the frosted trees,
Hanging like petals on sunburnt cheeks
                                
People
With eyes for no one but the sky
Eyes filled with the precious warmth
Of the last sip of Kahwah
Floating
At the bottom of the porcelain cup
Or crooked lines of juvenile delight
(That thaw your heart just as well)
Belting out morning prayers;
The texture of fresh chalk and pencil sharpenings
And luscious smells of cold mornings
Blanketed under love
 
Coaxed into games of hide and seek
With bottlebrush-tailed squirrels
I never could keep up
But I played anyway
Everyday
And put finger upon finger of obstacles
In front of wayward beetles that found their way
Into my dimly lit room
And my dimly lit heart.
And in this world it could yet happen
As snowflakes fall like feathers
Finding no wind with which to flirt,
Limestone lakes, at once too blue and not blue enough,
Still have time to blur into the horizon
And bells drenched in first light
Have hours to toll,
A luxury.
 
For life, it held me, and I stayed
Lost in matters
As tangled as my hair
In wasted days and twisted ways
Of mortal coils and monochrome haze
 
But you ,you let me steal ink
As my outstretched fingers
Grasped at your Sandpiper sky
You, who fashioned parachutes
From serpentine rivers
And cotton greenery
And gustless sighs
 
Sighs that were wantonly hoarded
And pressed between blank pages of my journal
Laced with honeydew stains
And the purple-pink shadows of the mulberry trees;
The pages don’t look so vacant anymore.
I reach down to touch
Your ivory snowbed in goodbye
And poetry writes and rewrites itself
In indelible ink, coveted, pilfered
From the blemishes of your sunset sky.