To the Lovers in ‘Umbartha’

O, you crazy waves spinning under an
intoxicated moon that cannot be folded away.
O, bodies of forest fire, unrecollectable,
bringing seas to colour with a riot of braveness.

Your embrace, the force that moved
the oceans, the winds, the planets, the stars, and stories.
Yet, your embrace, invisible. But for a glance.
Your story, ever untold. But for a stance.

Your passion is scandalous, venereal at worst
at best, unsane. To be treated in madhouses.
Your love? What love? There is none.
Only unease, disease, madness, obstinacy.

The Normal Woman in your story is trying
to cross a threshold. The one that keeps her prisoner.
You ripped that threshold off its roots
years and years ago. And yet, it is you who is held in prison.

O, sisters of mine, in hiding and struggle
In shame and pride. In grace and in disgrace.
Let us sing for ourselves the stories They
Want to leave untold. The anthems and odes.

Loud and unwavering may our voices be.
May all shores be filled with our roar-tide.
Let us no more be an island; unseen, remote.
Let us now be the air. Omnipresent, ever there.

Rituja Patil is a queer poet from Mumbai. Her poems have appeared in Violet, Indigo, Blue, Etc. and the lickety-split.

Featured image: Satya Chitra International