When You Moved To Guangzhou

February 13, 2019

We commissioned a Valentine’s Day themed poem and were so happy when Prarthana delivered this. As is her usual, with simple but soul-stirring words and sentences, she really gave us the feels. In this poem, a woman remembers her lover in the small, every-day instances of life after he moves to Guangzhou. It is bound to touch the inner-romantic in you, just like it touched the ones in us.  

You are in the muffled whispers by a misty window,
making that clickety sound as you type on your keyboard.
You are in the lyrics of the song we hollered at your rooftop,
and the way every morning, your rickety car engine roared.

You are in the scent of teaberry of freshly washed hair,
and in creases beside your walnut eyes and crooked smile.
You are in nooks of tea shops of sleepy towns
when we took road trips stretching across miles.

You are in between Neruda’s stanzas where each word is a world
reading lines out loud twice, pausing to look up at me.
You are in the gargled sound you make drinking milkshakes,
at the bustling corner café by the Elm tree.

But when there’s no one but me in my room, I still see you.
Mouthing words to me over the blaring radio and street’s hullaballoo.
But mostly, reading beside me on the wicker chair we bought in 1999,
From a market that closed when you moved to Guangzhou.

Prarthana Banikya is a graduate in Sociology from Miranda House with a certificate in poetry. She spent her formative years in the valleys of Northeastern India from where she draws inspiration for most of her writing. Her work has been featured in several journals including Aaduna, Asia Writes, Aerogram, Danse Macabre, Poetry Super Highway, Namnai, and Pratilipi. In 2016, she was nominated for the Pushcart Prize for poetry and in 2018, was the recipient of the Orange Flower Award for poetry. She blogs at prarthanabanikya.blogspot.in.

You can read her articles here