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Illustration: Jayachandran/Mint
Illustration: Jayachandran/Mint

The Love Issue | Four poems

Parvati Sharma brings to life familiar feelings of love, loss and longing

Free Verse | Four poems


I am going to love her

You may like it or not.

I am going to love her

Though well you say, “Ought

You to love her?

It doesn’t seem right,

It gives us a fright,

For it seems like it might

Bring a blush to our cheeks and our system to rot."

I am going to love her

You’ll like it or won’t.

I am going to love her

Though well you say, “Don’t

You dare love her:

It’s wrong if you do,

It just isn’t true,

If you do we’ll say boo,

How could you? You mustn’t! You won’t."

I am going to love her

You’ll never approve.

I am going to love her

Though well you say, “Prove

That you love her,

Show us you care:

Hang in mid-air

Dance like a bear—

Then maybe we’ll suffer you two."

Still. I’m going to love her,

I’m off to go love her:

Over the moon and under the covers,

By night, by day, each winter all summer,

Now and forever

Know this: I will love her—

And that is just how

I shall be.

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Q & A


A million stops between us when I look at you and you reply,

Between us when we lie entwined there slip a million sighs.

But what’s a girl to do, my darling, what’s a girl to do,

When all she does all night and day is fall in love with you?


“But why?", you ask. I say “But just

because I think it’s so."

“But why?" you ask

—you’ll always ask,

—you’ll spend our days in questioning.

“But why?", you ask, again.

I say, “But that’s just how and all and what I ever meant."

“But why?" you say, again

—and I come tumbling in,

—and I say,

“May I stay?"

“But why?", you ask.

“Because!" I say. And then you ask and I...


“Because," I say, “because and just and there are things and

reasons and such happenings and stuff that’s sparkling in my brain and

will you stop and kiss me now

and will you hold me just like how

you did before you asked me—why and when?"


D’you know of what I think

When I think of only you? I’ll

tell you. I think of mornings: clear

and wakeful and lit with your smile, its

halfness and fullness, its tilting

sighs; its afternoons in half-lit rooms, its augurings of

paradise; its almost-sudden wakening, its slow-to-fade surmise; and

half-awake I lie in bed, its sheets are tangled round my thighs,

like your smile, as it hides, deep within your thinking eyes.


Sakhi, piya ko jo main na dekhoon

To kaise katoon andheri ratiyaan?

(Amir Khusro)

So, listen: without the lovelight in my eyes

how shall I ever sleep this dark night?

Sleep tightly curled, I say, and hold

the curl of a fan’s wings in a hot sigh.

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

I want to write a poem that uses the word ‘naked’ figuratively

I want to write a poem that says my darling when you’re naked and

You’re buried in my shoulder and you’re half-a-slept and waking

From a night that’s turning crinkly

In the summer sun—

I want to write a poem that says my darling when you’re trying

Not to cry but still you’re crying and a wetness melts your eyes—

Then shall I slip between our fingers, will you

Let me curl and linger, up until you smile?

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Afternoon Snap

Joy and wonder

Mid-day slumber

Bumble mumble

On my collar:

Smile and turn and hold my hand thus

Touch my face with your soft smile, love,

Sleep so fast the world goes missing,

Noon-time naps are like dream-kissing.

Won’t you come and sleep beside me

When outside the workman’s drilling?

Snap! and close your eyes and find me

In your arms like chocolate filling?

My love I think we can but last:

I am quite sure of it;

We’ll be a hit, we’ll never part

And here’s how this I sense:

Our bums so snugly fit in the

Crook of somnolescence!

Parvati Sharma is the author of The Dead Camel And Other Stories of Love.

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