The Unlocking

by Lina Krishnan

Pondicherry, India

One has been inside so long

That home feels like a cave 

sanctum sanctorum, garba griha

I let this space put its arms around me

And look out the window

My walking paths have been in a quiet wood

Birds and butterflies and cats. A world 

Sans humans, almost

I’m unprepared for open streets

Now, a car’s honk startles me

I wonder what it will be like

To be in a crowd, again

To take public transport

To sit at a café, elbows carefully off

I close my eyes even to the bright buzz

Of excited messaging on future plans

I have waited so long to travel

But now I don’t feel much 

Like going out anymore

It’s not just the world that’s changed

It’s us. 

Wearing My Blacks

Yesterday we had a terrific storm

It raged through the afternoon

And was a grand sight

Today all’s quiet

Except for a fallen rudraksh

And a kadamb split in half

I feel like an Irishwoman at a wake

Keening, or with a wish to

A young tree’s death

Is like a young person going before his time

You look, and you wish, but it won’t come back

I touch the green branches, talk to it, hope it can hear me

And bring home two leaves

As keepsakes 

Lina Krishnan is a writer and abstract artist in Pondicherry. Small Places, Open Spaces, her chapbook of nature verse, was published in 2018 by the Blank Rune Press, Melbourne.