Poetry by Emisenla Jamir
Learning to walk on Water
Words can only say so much until they fold
into finely pressed smiles and die inside you.
Somewhere between the forced crinkles and
tightened skin, is a fragment of the person
you used to be, but the mirror only mirrors
the many Mr.Grays living under cloth covered
canvases that only you know of.
We are just coloured, splattered beings in
bold reds and weak yellows, because
dead words are hard to resurrect.
Our brittle bones will not be payment enough
to row us to the other side,
so, we might as well learn to walk on water.
I’ll bury you in old journals
and hastily written notes
that’ll never be read.
I’ll smudge your edges with ink
until you become a blot
for patients to decipher.
All bones look the same when
they are stripped of skin and flesh.
So, when my shoulders no longer
carry your weight, when I can
finally peel you off my skin,
I’ll burn these words to warm
the cold feet of strangers
waiting to let go.
There are drunks outside my window,
talking philosophy and politics
in a language borrowed,
a language they seldom speak in, except when drunk.
Daylight brings its own amusement
in the bickering of old men,
re-enacting Julius Caesar,
mouthing his last words
in an infinite loop.
But that is for tomorrow.
My night-time companions
are beginning to disperse,
and I’m left alone, listening
to the sound of unsteady feet
shuffling away on patched roads,
hastily made just for December.
Emisenla Jamir is a writer from Kohima, Nagaland. Her short story “Deliberate Delirium” was published in an anthology of short stories titled Raconteurs from the Hills (Penthrill). She has also co-authored a collection of women’s poetry titled Woven Words (Heritage), by the Department of English, Kohima College, Kohima. She is currently working as Assistant Professor (English) in Kohima College.
Her collection of poems titled Loneliness is an orange (2018, Barkweaver) has been very well received.