When this house no longer is,
its garden will still persist,
freed from walls that sought
to imprison its mysteries.
In the shade of weeping trees,
wild roses and wine-red leaves
will charm the sky to pliancy,
serenaded by an admiring breeze.
And long after I’ve confided my thoughts
to its silent paths
and joined the fox stilled to prayer
by stone’s gentle artistry,
long after I am a little less
than the longing with which I leave this place,
you’ll wander the kingdom
that was yours
even before you conquered it and me,
and I abdicated with a kiss.
And perhaps those who pause
to look beyond the crumbling walls
shot through with the honeysuckle’s
overcome by a sense of awe,
will wander in.
And perhaps, as on a restless, heartsick day, I have,
they’ll come across a little child,
unsmiling in her purpose
as she caresses the wandering tulips
that pay homage to her quiet wisdom,
or sits on a granite throne
in severe conversation with the ravens,
tempering her admonitions with soft pats
and the beginnings of a smile.
Perhaps they’ll come across you
as you give the setting sun
something of your strange beauty,
the sweet music of your melancholy.
Or they’ll discover you touring your empire,
the wild cat that was your first friend,
sharing in the fierceness of your isolation,
sauntering by your side.
But I will no longer be.
I am readying to leave, to take up exile
in the company of my grief,
though the soft embrace of the rain
and the softer caresses of the sun
will remind me of you.
I cannot bear to stay so close
when I cannot claim
your warmth for my own,
or annex you with my kisses.
I knew you were not mine for long.
Did it have to be so soon?
Adreyo Sen resides in Kolkata, India. He is pursuing his MFA degree at Stony Brook, Southampton. His work has been published in Danse Macabre and Kritya, among others.