I welcome the cool nightfall like a
hushed beat of moonlight.
I hold my diary and remember you
are no longer important.
I want to walk through the night,
burning, unafraid, the smell of moringa
suffused through my hair. I want the fragrance
to stain my clothes. I want it to stay.
Wash away the grit under fingernails,
the dewdrops and sweat that accumulate overnight,
just like people. We collect people, we wash them away.
I collect your words, watch the texts
outwardly ancient, unholy, seep into my skin.
The rest of it I wash away, sediment,
sent for some other centuries.
Your words I keep for the later flowering,
the oil extracted from them as carefully as roses,
distilled, kept, learned. I wake with a thirst
for rosewater and pomegranates.
You I discard, towed-away boats, fish-bones.
Today I walked into the garden and saw the hibiscus bloom.
~ Pratyusha Prakash
Pratyusha Prakash is currently a student at the University of Edinburgh. Her work has appeared in numerous websites and magazines, in the forms of poetry, poetry translations, and travel articles.