My longing fingers curl around the handle,
like they would around your waiting fingers
under the window,
I smell not your enchanting perfume, o’ maiden!
but your homely waft
with love my heart seems laden
like a caress to my mouth so soft; and I know
I need not a Juliet in a hazy mindset,
The strong odour of home and Dadi
my nostrils have already met
And they reminisce about the afternoons
under the banyan tree
My eyes squinting in the sunlight
in an attempt to see
the fair lass whose silhouette traced the horizons
with hair dipped in warm water
permeating the entire kitchen
And I would sit wide-eyed
I was “too young” to drink in your essence
Little earthen cups shattered on the roadside
all your past lovers, now broken by the pebbles
but you’ve disappeared
to appear in yet another tired lad’s way
The milky embrace of your returning comfort alongside Marie biscuits on the patterned plate
I would slap my forehead and blame fate
for not growing up faster and partaking
in the memories they made alongside cups full of you.
And then, like long-estranged lovers separated by oceans and finally rowing flimsy boats against the mighty waves
we finally meet in an embrace of affection,
newfound yet familiar.
Why must you pose an addiction stronger than any wine
any mug of steaming coffee
I can only sigh
and ask why once again
because the leaves have already left my hands
into the boiling water.
– Aliyah Banerjee, Round Rock High School, TexasI like this!