Two Poems by Karikalan – Translated into English by Nakul Vāc

That lizard dishing out omens
in the northeast corner of Selli Amman Temple
won’t know.

That Brahmin who kindled the fire
and recited the Vedas
won’t know either.

Ditto
the friends and relatives who gathered around
to bless and wish us well.

None of them know of
our Love.

Preempting idle gossip in our town,
you left me, your lifeless body
a mere shell

whose hymen your husband must have torn
to end his wedding night
in consummate peace.

Did memories of me get washed away with soap-water?
I did wonder despairingly.

Pretty much the same turn of events
at my end as well.

Meeting unexpectedly, our lips
that once used to kiss
now introduce us to our kids as
Aunt and Uncle.

Shorn of intimacy-
my wife and your husband,
might be a bit problematic for them-
this Brother Sister relation of ours?

2

 

Self

Aroused by the caresses on ample bosoms
dark eyes bristle and drowse with pleasure
spread out on the black stone wall the body loosens
yanking its feet the statue follows.
The last ritualistic midnight tolls
awaken, tighten and petrify
in that moment when
the statuesque presence bestows on the house
an antique feel
yearning for the scent of stone
I turn into a bat and
hang upside down
from the rafters of the temple’s interior.

oOo

தமிழில் – கரிகாலன்

 

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