Amrita Pritam

A
Amrita Pritam
Empty Space
There were two kingdoms only:
the first of them threw out both him and me.
The second we abandoned.

Under a bare sky
I for a long time soaked in the rain of my body,
he for a long time rotted in the rain of his.

Then like a poison he drank the fondness of the years.
He held my hand with a trembling hand.
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A Letter
Me—a book in the attic.
Maybe some covenant or hymnal.
Or a chapter from the Kama Sutra,
or a spell for intimate afflictions.
But then it seems I am none of these.
(If I were, someone would have read me.)

Apparently at an assembly of revolutionaries
they passed a resolution,
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Me
Lots of contemporaries—
but “me” is not my contemporary.

My birth without “me”
was a blemished offering on the collection plate.
A moment of flesh, imprisoned in flesh.

And when to the tip of this tongue of flesh
some word comes, it kills itself.
If saved from killing itself,
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Street Dog
It's really something from the past—
when you and I split up
without any regrets—
just one thing that I don't quite understand . . .

When we were saying our farewells
and our house was up for sale
the empty pots and pans strewn across the courtyard—
perhaps they were gazing into our eyes
and others that were upside down—
perhaps they were hiding their faces from us.

A faded vine over the door,
perhaps it was confiding something to us
—or grumbling to the faucet.
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