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Allahabad, Almost Winter by Jayant Kashyap

after Jack Gilbert*

We come home every morning after a walk,

small marks of sweat in the underarms of our t-shirts;

our lips entering the room, longing for a kiss.

You sit down, I remove my t-shirt

and make some coffee. We look at each-other

a long time before everything. You love doing

the right things delicately—we begin slowly,

like water, shimmering, on a stove,

towards warmth. You undo your hair once,

then kiss me, and do it—your hair—

back again; I look at you a while

then undress you slowly.

Your t-shirt finds a place by the bed,

right beside mine, on the floor,

and then your trousers and mine,

and in a haphazard manner, everything else

thereafter. We don’t always make love,

only our bodies find ways to stick together,

sweating, again. We talk about being

in love, put on a new Bollywood song

in soft voice—and then an old

favourite. You act

like nothing dear happens in the dark,

and then bite down, hard,

on one of my ears.

*Gilbert’s poem New York, Summer (often titled Portrait Number Five: Against a New York Summer). There are a few borrowed things here. / link


Jayant Kashyap is a poet, essayist, translator and artist. He has received nominations for the PushcartPrize and Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net, and is the author oftwopamphlets andazine, Water (Skear Zines,2021). His work appears in POETRY, Magma, The Fourth River and elsewhere.

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