Poetry at Sangam



TEMPUS FUGIT by Karthika Nair

I think I would like to die watching you dance,
feet staying quicksilver skies, arms a swift crease
of light across longitudes. Stars rise from trance

at your touch, drape the stage with night while stagehands
mix music (bass from springtides, then soughing trees,
I think). I would like to die watching you dance

this tango with Mistress Time – trellised, by chance
or choice, in memory’s arms –, transform a frieze
to light. Across longitudes, she twists in trance

till lips landlocked by your will blaze morning, lance
the inky continent, where – like yestreen breeze –
I think I would like to die. Watching you dance,

scissor land and sea, curve orbits with bare hands,
Time learns to whirl on lone, hennaed feet: release
of light on longitudes. Stars fall into trance

as you plummet out of life: no backward glance
of farewell, no thunder, no tears. With such ease
would I like to die, I think, watching your dance
– like lightning on longitudes – strike and entrance.