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Dear Kelvin

Dear Kelvin

By Pooja Nansi

Dear Kelvin,

For some reason I always put the books that are most precious to me at the top of the shelf in the back tier. It’s like I fear if I didn’t, they might grow feet and walk out on me in the middle of the night. And I know books can’t grow feet, but poems can walk into your heart and take root there. They can. Sometimes they nestle in like hatchlings, grateful for the safety of the steady pulse. Other times, in the quiet of your afternoon teacup, they suddenly apparate, smiling and serene, chilling you to the bone with their ghostliness. They dance in a trance to the vibrations of your thoughts and sometimes, when you try to sleep at night, they circle around your hopes like vultures in your tower of silence. Some poems have been sitting Shivah for a long time. Shaved their head, not worn shoes, or bathed for comfort, they’ve lost count of the days and nothing will convince them that more than a week has passed and they can stop mourning now, uncover the mirrors, look at their wasted, gaunt selves (they had no neighbours to provide meals). Still there are others who sit around the open funeral pyres that burn right at the center, waiting for the almost-end, when they can crack open the skull of their losses and let all that is soul free itself from entrapment. Some poems just bury themselves into the depths of your vessels, disintegrating and returning to the blood from which they once came. Some burn incense and chant incessantly in desperation, others get old and then become still under a stark white kafan, choosing to simply stop speaking. A few are reborn, as better or worse incarnations of their flawed selves. 

I guess what I am really trying to tell you is that I know now that sometimes the poems get too much for one heart or one bookshelf to hold. And it’s okay to let go of them. Because when you really love a poem, it knows. It circles around you and it stops measuring by time and it starts singing the sweetest songs from its parchment throat. You see, it is hopelessly in love with its flight and with you, who set it free. 


Pooja Nansi

Pooja Nansi has two collections of poetry, Stiletto Scars and Love is an Empty Barstool. She is also one half of the spoken word and music duo The Mango Dollies.

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