When Sea Came Calling
It is a cold morning. My eyes dissolve into pure silver when the sea knocks at my door with green drumstick fingers. I realize that I have not repaid the debt of soap-nut trees that shed pears. For this sin, they have confiscated my ability to dream. Sea comes in with the breath of faraway ports. Draped in the plumes of peahens, the sea fills the empty pockets of my veins with letters from oysters. Midway she pauses and turns abruptly to look at the cracked moon. As if in an afterthought she says she has forgotten to read the sonnets written by starfish circling on the skin of twilight. She must go. By this time my house had taken on the shape of a turtle. I am by the warm stove, pouring gin tonic into whelk pewter. I ask whether she would surely come back later. I am yet undecided on offering her my memory as a sacrifice, I pretend to be blind, my immediate prayer beseeching her to swivel, to wash over my soul. Sea is barefoot, my heart is cold and homeless, and so is the blind day.
Smitha Sehgal is a legal professional and poet who writes in two languages-English and Malayalam. Her poems have been featured in contemporary literary publications such as Usawa Literary Review, Madras Courier, Panoply, Shot Glass Journal, Marrow Magazine and elsewhere.