1858 c/o Nisha Bhakoo

A rosebush paled
at the foot of the grotto.

Swayed without any breeze.
Gone: the season, time & speech.

Petals curled
& waved me in.

My life shrank
from my body,

I moved in closer.
From the alcove:

the heart’s wax,
a woman as moon,

as holy cloud.
Her foreign eyes anointed me,

my blood knotted like hair.
She had a strong, still beauty,

it made me want to weep.
Her nature was unlike mine –

she had small hands of heaven,
and eyes of silk,

clasping rosary beads.
Two golden roses bloomed –

timeless, at her feet.
Her light was so big.