Almost homophones

part I

cataplasm /
a medical dressing
of a soft heated mass of meal
or clay that is spread on a cloth
and applied to the skin
to treat inflamed areas
or improve circulation.

When I first met you
your eyes were like ground coffee
dissolving in warm water,
and I fell fell fell deep into
the swirling liquid;
thenceforth my soul was held together
by the poultice of your company,
and the balm of your conversation.

Deftly, your fingers embroidered
our silences
with threads from spools
dyed with the colours of the rainbow.

part II

cataclysm /
a breaking asunder;

The problem with adoration
is that it often entraps you;
it speaks the language
of shadowed truth.
So when the words
start to get rough, I crawl
into the walkman of my heart
and listen on repeat
to the mixtape of your golden words,
or the one on which I recorded
our kaleidoscopic silences.

The world outside rumbles,
a notification of imminent earthquake;
so I turn up the volume
with the feeble hope
that the music of your words
and the tune of your breathing
will keep afar
the threat of being buried
under piles of emotional rubble.

part III

Words are so simple,
yet so generously soaked
in the kind of magical potion
which allows for them
to sound almost the same
and mean exactly the opposite –
one a spell to heal,
the other a recipe for wreckage;
and I’m on a bus that is
shuttling betwixt the two stations
on a loop.

Your chromatic persistence
is keeping me dreaming,
but by the time I wake up
to smell the coffee,
it’s already lukewarm.
That’s when I need your words ,
and it’s also when I desire your quietude.

In a conflicted universe,
which contains your conflicting selves,
and my conflicting cravings,
it is the singularity
of your musical words
that keeps me hoping,
and the character
of our harmonic silence
that keeps me going.

To conclude,
the only untainted truth
you’re to hear today is –
if it were up to me, I would have
thrown my walkman heart away.
It’s the mixtapes
(perhaps better worded as
the phonetic nature of us)
that’s keeping me alive.


by Priyanka Sutaria


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