We Slept on Floating Leaves

By Smitha Sehgal

when it had rained for seven days and nights, 
sea came up 
swallowing grey shoreline, unfurling waves
of memory, of beheaded mother
beyond asphalt road 
separating ilk of sea from ilk of land

those days fish swam under guava trees 
in our courtyard
gossiping, pausing, tasting 
fire cooked grain
sand washed pristine in primal state 

of sea bed, of corals, of clammed secrets
we slept floating on leaves
dreaming within dream, water flooding our lungs
limbs opened into petals 
growing into night, shadow of fish
eclipsed blood moon, 

carrying earth in its womb
this land claimed from sea by unquenched rage
of burning eyes, axe dripping blood, feet in long strides 
of twenty-one parikramas of Vishnu Purana
we slept floating on leaves

Smitha Sehgal is a legal professional and poet oscillating between Delhi and Calicut, her beloved seaside home. She writes poetry in two languages. Her poems have been featured in contemporary literary publications such as Reading Hour, Brown Critique, The Wagon Magazine, Usawa Literary Review, Parcham, Madras Courier, Water Video Mag, Poetica Review UK, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, EKL Review, The Criterion, Kalakaumudi, Samakalika Malayalam, Kalapoorna, ShadowKraft and anthologies including “40 Under 40: An Anthology of Post-Globalisation Poetry” and “Witness -Red River Book of Poetry of Dissent.”

Image Credit: Raheel Shakeel