Kiss of intention

A. Anupama


This was the silken leaf

he said as he twirled a chopstick between his hands,

sliding his palms back and forth against each other.

If she had looked up, the light above the table would have

exploded into rose petals, and she explained this

with a slight nod of her head

but no translator was present.


If one kisses a silk rose,

places it next to a pen

and goes to make coffee,

another person, in another town,

will smooth a tablecloth

and look out of a window at

a blue jay.


The curve of a petal in your hand

curves the sky, as I’ve always

imagined gravity could.


Sunset removes the shadow of

my bouquet from the wall.

Your glass vase glints coral red.


Calyx nesting petals, petals, petals,

heart. A sparrow bumps into the reed screen

and flies away.


Help me with this branch,

she said, holding it with two

fingers between thorns.

He took the twine from her

other hand and tied the rose

where she showed him with

her nod, to the pergola,

so that it arched

over its pond.

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