#LoveLiteratiContest – ‘In Praise of Anurika’ – Pamilerin Jacob

Love Literati contest - shortlisted submission - elsieisy blog

I
Until your laughter, I could make little sense
of the world. I stuttered mid-song, my teeth
tiny grenades, wove smoke into my breath
with each muttered word. I crouched
behind grief’s thicket, face upturned
like hands in prayer, pondering the midnight’s blue
the stars, a thousand glints of angels waiting
to unbuckle their wings, crash into our schedules.
I understood nothing of birdsong, approached each
morning ready to be trodden, made of no consequence
in the order of things. Until your laughter, my body
had the quietness of rot. But with you,
my life has been nothing
but rapture. Glee unhinged. Naked wire wound
about my pith, kindling me. Anurika,
your hair, vineyard of suns. Strands pouring into
my dreams, like rice. You are the eviction of hunger.
Of all proverbs, your smile is dearest to me,
the only decipherable thing in my life. Warm splash
on the eyelids—your voice, yanking me from destruction.
Do you remember our first kiss? How in that bright
room, holding your chin with shaky limbs, we undid
the hours. How you glowed like a pocket knife
in moonlight. Had a look that said, idiot,
what took you so long? 
You know all my diseases like a nursery rhyme
You gather them inside you—corn seeds laid
atop concrete—studying them. Your blood, immune
to my contagion. To love you is to live
in the eye of every bird, in the crevice of every
tryst, to understand the secret things of this
world. You,
 last drop of oil from a funnel
sustaining an engine. You,
rosary bead in every prayer. You, sunset. You,
sunrise. You, irresistible siesta.
Anaesthesia in a surgical room, you…

II
Recently, when asked in an interview
what habits he had changed since moving
in with Kim Kardashian, Kanye said, I
stopped being lonely.
We have our version of this story,
and in it you tell me,
in your love note:

your existence is light unto the world,
my world.

Anurika, 
I too, have been exorcised of loneliness since
stumbling upon your face. I carry your name
with me into every room, and rub it against
every surface until it gleams. Your presence
does to me what rain does to an abandoned
car, purifies me. You are my act of resistance.
You are the net and the hand that casts the net.
Lately, I have found myself singing 
your name into the silence
until it bleeds a rapid white, until
it ups and leaves.

My grief persists, but of a lighter hue. I enter birdsong
and am lost in its rooms. Tender, the noiselessness
of stars bursting through
my dreams, point me
always, always
to you.

And though Life flip-flops, flicks me far
into memories unsavoury, into psychosis
so vast it dents my soul, you are the balm
that eases my fall.
 
Even as the moon, crescent,
gibbous, and full is beloved
without remorse, I love
 
you in all your phases:
sour moods,
boisterous laughter.
 
Anurika,
I walk the hours with you.
 

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8 comments

  1. My God. This is too amazing. So beautiful. This is raw talent. And the words? The way they bounce off the page. Great work. 😍

  2. “You know all my diseases like a nursery rhyme
    You gather them inside you—corn seeds laid
    atop concrete—studying them.”

    Wow! This is awesome!

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