Rigorous
Volume Four, Issue 2



Aashika Suresh


Love Poem for a Sailor

      I.

Monotone against miles and miles of
dizzying blue

between us. I am envious of the albatross
drifting close.

      II.

The first time we meet, you speak of leaving.

You do not read any poetry or fancy country music;
nor are you the road-tripping kind. Could’ve sent me
running. Instead, we find a way to pack two years’
worth of coffee into a month of afternoons,
blow smoke on the sidewalk as we readily cart tales
back and forth like five-year-olds
at their first football game. You don’t forget
a thing I say. Sailor’s memory. I am an artist.

I may not remember the colour of the t-shirt
I saw you in that Monday (was it grey?)
but I can recreate the feeling of your beard
brushing against my cheek night after night.

      III.

My brother would often say sea water runs through his veins.

He once sailed upon its mighty waves. As did my father.

      IV.

Whenever it is that you return,
all I ask is, you bring me stories
from the sea –

Weird dolphin names
and new constellation patterns,
the smell of grease
or sea breeze wafting from
your shirt. How did you spend all
the hours you gained between
time zones?
And what happened when you
lost them?

Let it all froth freely over your mouth and
into mine –

I will drink up the brine of all your days away,
feeling fresh

upon my lips as if I were always there,
at sea.




Origami Sorrows

Little dots appeared around my middle
on the morning they buried you.

Since, it has become easy folding into myself,
joining edges I never believed could connect.

But I am a paper crane now, floating
not         flying     through the winds of time.

Come spring, the living room tiles will be
teeming with little coloured squares –

quivering palms              paper chafing
almond eyes, a sharp jaw and a handlebar ‘stache.



Aashika Suresh: "I am a freelance content writer from Chennai, India. I took to writing at age five and have been writing continuously ever since. My work has appeared in Chestnut Review, Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, Wax Poetry and Art, Royal Rose Magazine, Erbacce Press, and Bones Journal, among others. My poems were also shortlisted for the Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize 2019 in India."




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