It’s midnight in Delhi.
I am tongue kissing a bowl of Bengali pudding
on Sudeep’s rooftop,
listening to the heartbeats of a million books
huddling against the wind.
He is high up on the bookshelf,
hands at back, smile at ready,
kurta flapping at the knees
for a moment he is Anna’s king.
Slipping quietly between the shadows of silence
that rarely falls between the welcome noise.
Poets: they have no sense of white space
against a midnight sky.
They weep at the taste of goodbye,
ginger bitter-sweet on the tongue.
I read a poem just like this once,
warm and welcoming –
a siren’s song,
a tamarind farewell to a basket of mouths
hungry for more
~ TJ Dema
TJ Dema is a poet who favours reading her work out loud. She participated in the British Council and Lancaster University’s Crossing Borders program and later mentored the all female national champions for the British Council’s seven country Power in the Voice initiative. She is an alumna of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program and runs Sauti Arts and Performance Management, a Botswana-based arts administration organization.