Poetry at Sangam



HOW LOVE DIES THESE DAYS by K. Satchidanandan

(Translated from the Malayalam by the poet)

Love dies as crows do:
we just don’t realize
when one day we
cease to see one.

That name that had once
sweetened your body and soul
doesn’t even get time
enough to turn bitter.
All those pet names we had given her
vanish from the dictionary.
Even the computer forgets
the false usernames and passwords
we had created to write to her.
Messages go out as their
electric supply gets cut.
Her facebook page you used to
visit thrice a day is
now the remotest star.
The voice that had
quickened your heart beat
is a song you had once heard
in a passing vehicle,
her odour is a nameless flower
you had seen in a flash
on a hill in childhood,
her touch, that of a wayside tree
rubbing against your cloth.

You have learnt that letter too.
Now that name will dissolve
in the rainwater and
join the ocean of names,
glistening on the edge of waves
on certain crazy afternoons,
like a knife’s edge in the sunlight.