A Letter to You

Poem by Jyothika Persadh

What I Have Tried to Say to You, then; then and… Now!

The streets were foreign now,
the sidewalks dry
with winter sun,
the grass burned with its thorny green
and brown blades holding onto the edge of summer.

Nothing has been as it was.

That Sunday morning,
I went outside to look
for my hands in the mist.
I could touch my skin
and almost hear the rough surface burn against the creases in the cold.

In the garden,
I saw a cloudburst had beaten down the stalks,
savaged the leaves.
There was the threat of a thunderstorm.
I faced west, taking it all very seriously.
In someone’s
tiny book,
this all made sense.
It meant people should
live miles or years apart,
that distance is best measured by silence
or the swiftness of rivers
or how far one can pitch a stone across the water back home amidst the ocean.

I had walked through one door and then another.
I can
see your face,
the way you raised your head as I appeared.
I see you
and still cannot imagine ever seeing the last of you.
It is the farthest shore, the one that no map ever shows.

Still,
there is a way to know what’s coming,
to understand why some people,
collect flowers, in a garden …
or press deeply with the ink of a black pen through a page;
or suddenly become happy …
after a long time of barely becoming one with thyself.