August 15, 2011

Assignation by Sharanya Manivannan

After our last encounter I passed a
woman telling fortunes on the pavement,
her face glowing with turmeric and
coquetry. For the first time in my life
I wanted to know nothing, not truth,
not consequence, not even any version
of what came before or would come
between. I had left you haggling at
the market for flowers you would
have bought if I had let you, at
the intersection between your bad
instincts and my prevaricating intentions,
weighing qualm and impulse like fruit or fish.
The heart has its treasons. The will, an
arcana of alibis. Darling, I have never
known a damned thing, but when I next
arrive at your door, I will come bearing
a palmful of roses to stuff into your mouth,
so you will learn how to keep my secrets,
crave their scent, love their sting.

Sharanya Manivannan's first book of poems was Witchcraft (2008). Her fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in Drunken Boat, Killing The Buddha, The Nervous Breakdown, Monkeybicycle, Pratilipi, Dark Sky Magazine and elsewhere. She lives in India can be found at


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  2. Haunting last line. I love this poem. It is full of turns and suprises. "I had left you haggling at/ the market" "the intersection between your bad instincts. . ." Excellent, Sharanya!