The coffee beans were soaked in rum casks:
Food can be imported, books sent across seas
— as touching rituals —
Maps marked, distances measured
— distances gazed into —
Exact times in each other’s countries checked
(It is always still asleep o’clock)
Essential exclamations from the other’s parts of the world
Silently mouthed in practice.
Ayyo! This predicament is so strange only!
I have stopped looking at Covid news.
You say your PM’s initials expand as fellatio
(most likely auto)
And we say ‘Ah, the Supreme Leader is good’
And wink at each other for getting away with not saying
Love is patient
But not with jail-time.
I sip coffee as muscle memory.
Rum do! It’s gone cold. I grimace.
You are still at 3:48 AM
Maithreyi Karnoor’s debut novel ‘Silvia’ will be published by Tranquebar in February