Poetry at Sangam



INVISIBLE by K. Satchidanandan

(Translated from the Malayalam by the poet)

I have never seen you;
maybe I never will.
Still I know you are there,
like some unseen stars,
like the first wonder-filled flap
of the just-created bird,
like some half-formed words
on the frontiers of language,
like some planets,
fuming fluid yet.


Your crystal-voice
quickens my heartbeat,
like coffee, like pepper,
like jazz, like drugs.


You are a dripping tunnel
with light at the end.
I long to get wet
passing through you
listening to the songs
of the forest-birds
that thrill the wind.


The scent of how many flowers
from your body shining far-away
Is igniting my senses?


Let those hands keep moving,
their bangles laughing,
shaping the fragile idols of love.


Who said life is a tree
that blossoms just once
and then dries up?
This is that moment,
unrepeatable, of blossoming.


I am a grain of sand
and you, the endless sea.
Let me multiply and be the earth
to contain all of you?


I tremble all over like
the tallest building
in a quake-hit city.
You are the oldest of its roads.
Split open so that I may
tumble down to be
devoured by your womb
and open my fresh eyes
into the light of a city
yet to be born.