Tell me, do you enjoy the scent

of vinegar & lemon, the rawness of newsprint

when I polish your surface clean?

You have about eight permanent scars on your body:

do they make you feel ugly?

Do you ever wonder if the stunned smoothness of a country lake

was a distant cousin?

Or the breakability of your bones, a genetic inheritance?

I’d like to know if you spend Sunday afternoons

reminiscing people               that passed

through you?

Or speculating why it is you shine

only with what’s shone

at you?

Do you at all feel

my face plunging into your silver landscape?

Or the fact of its absence, when it moves away?

Can you sense joy

when a pair of lips blooms open at you, the ache

of a tear darting across your skin?

Do you ever wish for it to stop:

this perpetual drama—

this holding of things briefly

and then, letting go?

Vismai Rao’s poems appear or are forthcoming in the Indianapolis Review, RHINO, Salamander, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Parentheses Journal, Kissing Dynamite, & The Shore. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Orison Anthology. She lives in India. //  @vismairao

Banner image by Olivia Cronk