Five Years of Poems, Condensed

It’s snowing in Chicago
regretted cold and fading inhibitions
haven’t hammered out the details
this sometime relationship
gasping to an indescribable


i will not say goodbye again
i have grown tired of breaking promises


he pulled me off balance and kissed me and we fell to the ground
want to fuck you to absolution or oblivion
shoulder meets neck in a delicate hollow begging


scent of crushed pine heavy
mantle of fire-leaf fragments in gold hair


On and on until you plead exhaustion
spend a guilty afternoon on pleasure
remembering tiramisu and raspberry liqueur


hope that this letter is not too much of an imposition


jamming them fused bending both out of shape
a double-sided mirror-reversed-90 degree turned-puzzle from hell
bodies on the mountain screaming in the wind


clammy grip of winding-sheet
your empty hands


Does it not seem late, my love?
This has been too long a day already
I wanted to write something lovely for you


stifled worries and silent patience
a cool hand on your fevered cheek
sweat once again proclaims


Last night I scrubbed the tub on hands and knees
listening for your muddy footsteps in the hall
the taste of him on your lips


broken leaves should emphasize dying


roll in our blood — clenched in the skin-touching
swift combustion, destruction, regeneration
if only a moment in your arms


pleasure can subsume the ache for a sharper biting joy
stir a cup of chocolate in a grey morning
It is not a bad ending



M.A. Mohanraj
September 19, 1997