Friendship Fortnight 2020: Missing Friends

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Another poem chosen by Arundhathi Subramaniam from her oeuvre.

 

 

Missing Friends

by Arundhathi Subramaniam

 

In another land
my friends are sad.

The planet is smouldering, they say,
like never before.

I remember the times we ordered
our brun maskas,
ran fingers over formica tables sticky
with kolatkar, pound, almadovar,
clarice lispector,
nammalvar.

At times we’d disagree:

teilhard de chardin, he’d say,
salim chishti,

tukaram, you’d reply, pinkola estés,
(or irrelevantly, agatha christie)

and we’d shake our heads sadly —
gandhigandhigandhi.

It was a world of common nouns
we inhabited —
comforting really

(not unlike that darker
age of innocence
when I thought Coca Cola
was spelt lower case
and came from a fruit).

We’d laugh immoderately
over the haiku poet
whose cv was never
a haiku,

spend the ritual half hour
on god, on death.

In another land
my friends are sad,

their tables still sticky
with octavio paz and simmering teas.

The right and left have failed us, they say,
then head to eat lebanese.

Some days
I miss friends.

[from Love Without a Story, Westland Amazon, India 2019]


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