“I had a cousin sister…”
~ Katia Kapovich
I had a cousin sister whose side profile paralleled that of Vyjayanthimala’s.
She used to go to the movies with this lad whose sentences climaxed at “only,”
When other girls who walked to school with her configured
Locking eyes with a stranger to a maximum and a minimum
Of zero. Love’d have been a venn diagram for lesser mortals.
This was more an intersection of creatively respectable
And respectably creative, like all things stemming from plain boredom.
Living in the countryside could be taxing for an eloquent spirit.
So she kept going to these larger than life, quadrupled cinema houses.
Plethora of neon signs, black tickets sold upfront.
Portly heroes in plush bellbottoms prancing around caricatures
Of trees, graphics of slow moving cars as scenery,
Mouthing high-pitched, rhyming notes to sharp featured dames
Who could care less about the ignominy of venn diagrams. Coiffured hair
A constant semblance of poise. Euclidean geometry has a ubiquitous way with things.
It flat out denounces, like no other paradigm. It’d screech, if that’s the only way you’d listen.
Paranoia and Prudery are compatible coordinates in the exact plane of deliverance.
Disbelief is the ornament of narcissistic sciences.
It will deny and deny, as if
Paranoia comes with plumed fluorescent feathers.
As if prudery is self-acknowledging. I obsessively pictured her
With an obtuse belly, her coming to the decision
That death might be the sine qua non to salvation.
A white shroud over her silhouette. A lit lamp dimming by nanoseconds.
Grandmother, who severely dictated the menu to be served
At grandfather’s funeral, soaking in the repetitious rumbling of Vedic hymns.
Relatives echoing that this was bound to happen.
Karma talks, or some such bullshit. Me, a nomenclature by now,
Puzzled about the greatest common factors, the how,
If and why, a girl whose side profile paralleled Vyjayanthimala’s,
Had the will to have sex with a guy
Whose sentences climaxed at “only.”
~ Divya Rajan
Divya Rajan‘s poems have appeared in After Hours, Berfrois, Four Quarters, Missouri Review, Ann Arbor Review, and several others. She has been associated with The Furnace Review and Asian Cha, in an editorial capacity. She lives in Chicago.