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Lines

 


Lines

- Priya Narayanan (India)

I open my fist one last time

and stare at the fine lines

that lay concealed,


embedded into the story of me.

One line traverses the village

(of memories)


where I stand at the edge of a lotus pond

gazing at my reflection: a child

amidst entangled roots.


One line meanders through the alleyways of a city

where life and livelihood sit

at the far ends of an ebony bench


and I sit somewhere in between –

shifting, shuffling, suspended in motion.

One line curves round the corner called love:


you do not need to see to know

what happens beyond. A pregnant sigh

escapes me. One line unspools


into a long string that flies a kite.

The wind that makes the kite dance

is my breath. As I inhale and exhale


exhale and inhale, a thousand other strings

unspool to criss-cross the sky

above my open palm. But these strings


do not bear kites; they bear bluebirds

tied by their tails: tweeting, tittering,

teetering, tiring.


A thing of beauty loses its freedom for ever.


One line traces the outline of a slate.

I can see a line forming a ‘C’, yet another

forms an ‘I’. A few drunken lines collide


to form an ‘A’ and an ‘R’. A fine threesome

forms an ‘H’… I pull out a chair

and sit down my weary bones.


As the lines close in on me, I open

my tired eyes just in time to catch one line

rushing across my palm:

            

a river in a hurry to meet the sea.