Every month they’ve a gathering on the moon,
when they light a million candles on our side
of it that it looks plump and round —
like the one that my cousin used to draw when
she was little as a lamb;
she would draw a few dark spots which, she
said, were mountains that they couldn’t climb
to put the candles upon — Mauna Kea,
Mount Everest and names I don’t recall — she’d
say that the mountains had several alien
trees, they used to do their chores themselves,
but she never said anymore;
she would tell me sometimes though, when
no one was listening, that it was tough to see
farther than the trees that swung their heads
while we imagined her stargazing.
She doesn’t draw anymore but tells me when they
gather every month, she says that even they have
divisions — that not all of them lights the
same candles — like us, but never more,
and I believe her.
And you let me know that he was violent.
I wanted to lend you something to rest your head upon,
I knew you would need that.
You are still too far for me to sit by your side.
It is sun when it is night;
you have breakfast and I sleep.
I see you. You are always with me, but not too close.
Sometimes our hearts are not enough;
sometimes the vena cava — everything.
I shut the door and set fire to a little moth ball
— naphthalene — it sublimes.
Something that’s white and good once, soot and toxic thereafter
— human. You tell me truth comes out late,
and we have ourselves spoiled by then;
my room fills with smoke, the smell is still the same as had been —
faces are deceptive.
You must miss him, not for he was good, but because he was —
but people change. We did.
I tell you you should have told me earlier,
but we would both still have been as helpless as we are;
but I think psychology helps!
I’m sorry I write about him,
but I promise he won’t be named.
I write about everything, you’ve ever known.
You can’t stop thinking about the black ink and the black paper.
I can’t stop thinking about you;
I can’t stop thinking about the black ink and the black paper.
— It’s equivalent.
I still write about my shoulder, and your head to lay upon it.
I could write more — about him,
about you, about us — but you are away;
so I end it here:
Violence is weak.
You are beautiful.
I love you.
The Seven Sisters
Some stars died last week, some before them, and I
lost track of the seven sisters — light pollution, they say
— funny how we do not walk up the right alley and
keep track of something light years away while light is
When I was a kid, I wondered whether naming was
an issue; I used to imagine the faces of the seven
sisters that still decorate India and of those now lost
somewhere — I would think if they were the same; I
Asked anyone though! Twice I sat in a train to one of
them with a map and a pencil to keep mark every
once in a while, but I would climb down before destination
— I was afraid of visiting a new place; I lost a face before I
See — once I did, and once again; and now we do it
together. I remember a time when songs had a phrase:
‘starry night’, and think how even the days became
obsolete; think how only memories now have stars in
Quite a few of Jayant Kashyap’s poems have been earlier in publications widely, including StepAway and Rigorous magazines; his debut chapbook come later this year by Clare Songbirds Publishing House. He’s also the founding editor of India-based ‘Bold + Italic’ e-magazine alongwith a friend of his. Find him at https://onlyhumane.wordpress.com/