Manjiri Indurkar is a poet and writer based in New Delhi from where she runs the webzine AntiSerious.
Knees and Elbows, Elbows and Knees
It is difficult to sit with folded legs
During the summer nights
I feel the urge to touch the sweat
That gathers between the knee joints
When the calves touch the thighs
And they perspire together, like a conspiracy.
A joint venture
My elbows are dark and the skin is coarse
Maa gives me a lemon to scrub them
If I do it every day, I can fix them.
But I don’t.
Elbows and knees
Knees and elbows
Joints are such curios things.
Places where the bones meet.
When my coarse elbow scrubs against yours
I can hear our bones talk
We don’t need fingers to touch
Or the tongue to taste
My ankle once got stuck
In the wheel of my father’s Luna
And I didn’t tell him
We were climbing a bridge
Named after a short man.
When we reached the tip of the bridge
The wheel spat out my flesh
And along with my ankle the Luna broke down.
My bloody trail on exhibit
Bridges too are like sweaty joints
I know a girl who sits on my window sill
With her legs bent in a V
I look at her bruised knees
And think of all the times
Gravity won the battle
When you fall from the window
The joints take the blow first
When it rains she looks at the drops
Flowing through the window pane
And I look at the seepage
My walls suffer from
They always form a pattern
Dark and coarse like my elbows.
I think of the nausea that fresh paint
Brings with it
Like my elbows the damp joints of the wall
Remain dark and coarse
With paint falling off them in an incoherent language
They are spaces where things end
And things begin
Where infiltration is possible
Where fluidity exists
Where dirt gathers
Where smell lives
In togetherness we live our separate lives
In separation we are always together.