This holy month, I will return
to the mosque where you and I
watched the rain last year,
quick drops tumbling
against sandstone, jumping
at red touch. Where children ran out
covered corridors, filling coke bottles.
Where the rickshaw puller turned
to look at me, then the sky, then
laugh: This is the flavour of home.
Halfway through the days you and I spent
learning each other’s lives, you said the rain
in my city is new and horizontal. We talked
about our meanings of rain. Today, it is mine,
the extravagance. It is more than soggy socks
and half burned laughter.
This year, we have waited longer than usual
for the city’s greenest bath. But now, as grass
glows and cars stall and trees grow grimeless
and mosquitoes prepare for war, drought
is a theoretical knowledge, like you are
a silhouette against a skyline I never learned
to love, the other end of endless blue.
Yesterday, when you lay
across my computer screen, I remembered
soaked evenings at my house, the games
lemonade won, the way wine turns you
into a child holding a lullaby.
This poem was first published in the Spring 2014 issue of Vayavya.