Sudhanshu Chopra


We decided not to discuss the people
we were with before we met each other.

It was not a silence that requires restraint
and abstinence, but one that follows

the realisation that every person is inside
of you, and vice versa.

You don’t say where you want me
to kiss you. You get a tattoo there.

I graze my chapped lips over the engraving,
its fish-scale dampness; I talk of gill slits,

operculum: how a flap can both protect
and smother. Your waters impede my speech,

reminding me to be implicit, not to bubble away oxygen
phrasing all outcomes.

If you quote one, you’ve listed all,

like the swirls on your skin: coaxial imprints
of prior passions. A big breath of air, I dive in.

You clutch my hair like a moonlit wave laps
at the embankment: using the froth’s tear,

I describe the stone’s chipping;
coiling along your body’s

blue fractal, I become an aura
of your previous lovers.

Sudhanshu Chopra is thankful to reading and writing for making him a better person. Though he has a long way to go.
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