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.