Imperial Affections

By Meghna Chatterjee

Maybe we can love,
not just within the darkness, but because of it. Ours is
the dream of the snail hoping to leave its track on the moon;
The flitting shadow of the stars in every passing afternoon.
We are sending signals to worlds more distant
than what the radio astronomers can listen for, and yet-

And yet, what?
Maybe it is for you the sea lifts its shoulders to the moon,
for you the smoke of some battle takes the shape of a tree,
For you the syllables dance out in charades of unsung poetry.
On your balconies of desire, in your alleyways of touch,
each moment is a door opening like the luminous face of
a pocket watch. Maybe because of you the stars, too,
desire one another across their infinite,
impossible distances forever.
Maybe someday, the world should see us through blazing keyholes of
discoloured history, and see instead
The human manifestation of magnetic polarity-two splinters
of a single spirit, navigating impassive, hostile lands;
the gloves of their hearts looking for the warmth of anyone’s hands.