Grief begins with a feathered tail and
Newton’s wheel spinning over unmisted West
Highlands where wild herons fly with
muslin-plumes to ceiling-bright skies – the
river that carried you to them flows in me
today, disquieted. I am a branched dogwood
of tasseled boughs once uplifted to form
you, snow-nymph bright against the mulberry
mountains of fresh-birthed Spring. You are
shadeless dew that slid upon the silk-leaves
too soon, your bleached skin dusted to the
earth as rhinestone ash pillowed by
weathered Ryeland-bristles nudging and
nudging the nebulous moulds of wren-like
feet shawled in a Berkshire blanket of
Grief begins when a distant part of you
comes from language condensed in silence,
when sparrows bind loose ribbons to the
wrists of your pink palms and place a
snow-diadem upon your gentle head.
The bundled world is Rosacae, infected with
roses of thorns and apples of pride that
throw their seeds upon the fertile soil
without care for worlds that look upward
into pink skylines beyond their reach.
Who then thinks of the serpent?
The tendrilled thread-like appendages like
ringlets in a woman’s hair twined to the
breathing, green slender stem that supports
Woody-stemmed, the vine impregnates the
seedless winery to birth the smelly
sauvignon blanc, the pinot noir, the
Cabernet Franc shelved in bodegas that syrup
a world of lone, squandered men.
Deep into the darkness, pearled in bunches
of rouge, black, green, the vine wraps
within its snake-arms a world of plenty.
The vineyard takes kisses from the
rose-garden and makes them unchaste, it
steals the fruit of the rose bush and makes
it sweeter with carnality.
We are not red as the roses, we are red as
the vine that came before them.
Anannya Uberoi is a full-time software engineer and part-time tea connoisseur based in Madrid. She has been previously recognized as the winner of Ayaskala Literary Magazine’s National Poetry Writing Month challenge. Her poems and short stories have appeared in Jaggery, LandLocked, Deep Wild, Tipton Poetry, Lapis Lazuli, and eFiction India. Her writing has also featured on The Delhi Walla and The Dewdrop, among other literary blogs.