Durga’s light fragrance in Delhi’s night air —
a bracing hint of late autumn.
Incense-smoke waft, spiral effortlessly —
its perfume mingling with new-spun silk
sarees draping bodies —
fluid and idol-struck.
You pick up the old threads
across many oceans in a land faraway,
where the afternoon air is similarly crisp,
where leaves are turning
from green to yellow to gold — rust and incarnadine —
blood’s love-promise to be kept
for a future fleeting meeting —
for a dream that is yet to be fulfilled.
But for now,
fantasy is real, jovial and feather-light —
as are the elements outside.
Your heart skips a beat in joy’s frolic — yearning.
Breathe deep the season’s prayer,
arati’s incantatory pulse —
puja’s beautiful delirium.
The shiuli-petal bracelet around your wrist
brands my skin with its leaking invisible orange-hued juice —
etching forever, secrets on our skin.