The Janai Purnima Sonnet
it is the year 2070 and
he rises with the moon, shaking off the
skin that keeps him warm in this womb of bells.
he tastes her and realises he’s starving.
you have to go up to go down here
as trees move like the swirling skirts of those
witchdoctors tracing their way along the
rocky sandlewood belly of shiva.
every path seems to lead here, to this
honeymoon bed of rhododendrons that
forces our right hand towards that sleeping
mountain more stable than this life of ours.
i don’t speak nepalese but i can read
the feeling in the seven taps that bleed.
i don’t think i can explain
how it feels to feel kathmandu rain
i will search the earth for you with torches;
i will starve this world
until i taste your name on my tongue.
and i will carry you like Anchises,
as this burning ground scorches my soles
until i follow you into Elysium.
and there i will soften souls with these words,
but, this time, i will not look back
until you sing my name to safety.