The days of our pasts were heaven white.
Heaving with a weight only a dead person
knows. Our skins, fireflies in the dark. The
eye pits, the tired breasts, and nights of
green. Soon, soon, it was coming, but never
close enough. The algae in the creek odd
on our flesh, the moss turning brown. I wish
we could say now – ‘we spent our childhood
on pedestals.’ But the bricks rusted like iron,
like bone. And we sat still, dead birds on
our roofs, hoping for the mud to absorb.
And I am still afraid, of correlations,
of kissing a shoulder that turns blue, of
staying still in a house of crayon. Each spot
is a wound, camping group for the unknown.
You say it comes and goes, but dear Elena,
let us not let fog guide our vision again. I
do wish there were rainbows, and men, and
sunlight, I do wish for a cup of indigo
instead of tea. I do wish, oh how I wish for
this horizon of near-coming. After everything,
the stars are empty of disease, my breathless,
Elena. Elena of my fire, Elena of blue smoke.
Elena of dead old, hand of sweat. Elena of
a language I spoke. Dear Elena,
my words turn cold in your bed,
and I find a fingernail in your folds.
Smriti Verma’s poetry and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Word Riot, Open Road Review, Alexandria Quarterly, the DoveTales anthology, Textploit and Young Poets Network. She is the recipient of the ‘Save The Earth’ Poetry Prize 2015 and was part of The Adroit Journal’s 2015 Summer Mentorship Program and the GKA Summer Writing Studio. Apart from this, she enjoys working as a First Reader for Polyphony HS and Junior Editor at Siblíní Art and Literature Journal.