Thursday, 12 July 2012

for Kamala Das

it was one of those
accidental discoveries that
strike like

i never knew you, Kamala,
did not know someone like you
existed, lived, loved,
and wrote poetry
i read,
i see the blue sea, and the beaches,
i swim with you, Kamala, and you talk to me about love,
about men (did your husband ever read your poems?), and like so many times before, i wish i had
black hair and a
dravidian face like you when you were my age but still my hair is wheaten, my skin
milky and cold, i was born in a country where coconuts do not grow
you passed like rain

you take my hand and you look into my eyes
and you see fright and shame and you tell me what
it means: to be a woman, and i
see, i feel, i
know. now. your bold words, so many uncharted territories
you bring a mirror and it shows the beauty
of what is and what might be

[Kamala Das was from Kerala, wrote poetry in English and prose in Malayalam. She was born in 1934 and died in 2009. Some of her poems can be found here:]

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