Love, sent to a single-loaded corridor / Pooja Ugrani

Hanging upside down, like a giant lizard
I cling to you with unblinking calm,
draw waves along your length.

I dream of ways to inhabit you again,
my Marsyas, as your voussoirs shelter me
under nine arches.

Out from under the First, I regain balance
on moss-retaining tiles, checkered red,
laid at 1:5, turn away from its faint stench.

Rants of a cutter-armed friend
ricochet off mount boards, I complete
my model as she saves my ass under the Second.

A ninja jumps out from under the Third
negotiating a bush, watered from above.
A puddle forms in broken asphalt.

I am privy to a red-rose proposal
under the Fourth, where level differences
match heights, and hearts.

Perpendicular runs under the Fifth, midway
on steps that bite into the plinth,
stage ephemeral greetings, impromptu baithaks.

T-scales dumped under the Sixth –
the ancient bearer of unreadable results
that wears a baroque egg tiara and watches on.

Vapour swirls from tea, served in paper cups
held by Dumbledore Longbeards,
spilling out of seminars, racing to reach the Seventh.

I wade through a copy of the new Shilpasagar,
on a table, as I peep into the Principal’s cabin
under the Eighth. Sore

from an overdose of architecture,
I turn to the fine arts, a gallop away,
to contemplate an escape under the Ninth.

I don’t act on it.
Oscillating between volume bursts
You are Newton’s cradle,
I come to you, to go nowhere.

This poem was written for the ground floor corridor of Sir J. J. College of Architecture, Mumbai, where Pooja studied for almost a decade.

Pooja Ugrani is an architect and a teacher from Bangalore, who writes from memory and personal experience about the small everyday things in life that intrigue and engage her. 

Photographs taken by Mustansir Dalvi

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