Moon-Gazers by Meena Kandasamy

Fifteen, lost in a room
Full of children learning Hindi poetry
For an approaching exam. In a nasal bass
Tthe teacher speaks of some besotted bird
That watches the moon every moment of the night...

I stand up and ask,
What does that bird do on new moon nights?
Peeved by what she thinks is impudence,
The teacher says the bird watches my face.
The class turns all at once, stares at me.
Ashamed, I shrink, I sit.

Twenty-two, lost in any space,
I restlessly seek the strength
Of his shoulders and I hunt
Like a hungry beast to catch a glimpse
Of my coal-black lover, and I crave to look once more
Into his limitless eyes where I sank and never surfaced.

As I desolately count each passing hour,
I become that moon-gazing bird on new moon nights,
I sing the saddest songs of all time, I never ask questions...
by Meena Kandasamy


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