Morning Coffee #2

Where the author pretentiously post a poem he enjoys.

BY ARUNDHATHI SUBRAMANIAM

After A.A. (1967–2015)

It’s 2005

and we are almost glamorous,

the five of us—


the chairs are cane,

my shirt batik,

the sunshine Goa

and Heineken.


We’re past the clumsy brutality

of eighteen—


we’ve deleted

makeshift faces,

borrowed persuasions,

stances without journeys.


We’ve forgiven the treacheries

of student seminars,

wrong addresses

at different ends of the city,

digressions of faith.


No edge

to our voices anymore

when we say Zen

or Gramsci.


We’re wearing

the dumb happy

of holiday

and wearing it well—


and there’s always so much sun.


Against limewashed churches

and cashew plantations of melted green

we’re laughing hard,

beer-glazed, sand-drizzled, stoned

on Sgt. Pepper and Kishore Kumar.


And there’s the other picture, look,

where arms entwined,

we are bathed in fierce siesta light

and seem to know this moment

is teetering

on the verge

of never again.


It isn’t difficult, of course,

to skip the nostalgia,


to fast-forward

the embarrassment

of memory,


to speak,

as others do,

of calcium

rather than satori.


So, the morning I heard

it wasn’t difficult to turn efficient,


to delete

pictures of hummingbirds

and cardamom tea


and the air ticket you emailed me

never knowing it would be

the one to your funeral.


It gets easier, friend,

with age,

to delete, plan breakfast,

turn the page.


It would have been easier still

if you hadn’t deleted the sun.

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