Anannya Uberoi (she/her) is a full-time software engineer and part-time tea connoisseur based in Madrid. She previously won Ayaskala Literary Magazine’s National Poetry Writing Month challenge, and was nominated for Best of Net in 2020. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Bangalore Review, The Loch Raven Review, Deep Wild Journal, Lapis Lazuli, and Tipton Poetry Journal. She spends her Sundays in tearooms working as a columnist for The Remnant Archive. www.anannyauberoi.com Credit photo: Tanya Shrivastava
A Homeward Letter
Mother, I am well. The city's gardens are a mild aphrodisiac to grey winter mornings adding turmoil in my tea pot, flower pot, storm stirring in my backyard of things.
The evenings come with secret hunts of flies; I often mull over events on the headlines and hide tiny wasps in the slip of my tongue, the earl grey dissolving in the corners of my bones.
School is grandiose – I still break into poetry in the first paragraph of my essays; I think I'm growing to be a fine lawyer. The snow does not taste soft or delicious like back home; it is heavy and jumps on my skin, reiterating secrets of an urban sky.
Vera is, of course, an antidote to my impending dip into insanity. She and I are lonely, and more recently, I observed her cheeks color up like petunias in the vapid winter. Sometimes, I tell her by parapraxis, of course, how the parsnips of your farm simmered my solitude with sound,
how the beaming carpets of your room colored my own.
The moon is mine. It is sitting globe-like on the corners of my lampshade, and I feel no difference – it could have been a small bulb, for instance, or a soft fire glow buzzing around the corners of my room. It is nothing special, this cupped moon on my side table, I am deriving its soft light to my own quiet purposes in this sense of oblique belonging of the night to the night, everything stretched back into a single thread of light and longing, longer with the distance between myself and the sky, wrapped into a tiny concentrated box within this room. I pull out a sheet to draw, the silence becomes an edge somewhere, a distant barking dog a curve around it, a solo traveler who flew to the moon so often it became an object of friendly coexistence.
In a wild dream I am kissing you. The clock is going backward to contain as much time it can before it is ten. We are fighting for survival. The window outside is switching seasons – flowers, sun, snow; I suddenly lock my legs with yours lest the Christmas wind blows into my skirt. The white curtain is lined golden in one moment, silver-grey in another, in a floundering meditation of the limpid light and color show outside paces gently on your face, marking creases on your cheek. Your room is a throbbing territory of time, lasting seven seasons and a month. The clock is gracefully back at ten. You are perkily considering not going at all, I, making lemon juice to revive our parched lips.
Your eyes are the result of moonlight whisked in chocolate violas, releasing flurries in the upward sky as you observe the stars, your mouth breathing a crescent smile into a puffed up, procellous twirl of clouds stretched out in a corner. Your lips, a history of highlands constructed with you, red hollyhocks I wear in my hair so beamingly, feet on the grass proud of foxtails in the summertime.
It is as if I plucked a pearl afloat on sea froth to have learned your name, swam nine feet hence to have said hello, touched the sea bed with my bare toes to have called you mine – save it all happened fortuitously and now I am missing a pearl I so miraculously plucked out of nowhere