Alleyways / Panchami Manjunatha

not yours to be mine

in an alternate universe, your disownments would be enchantments
in this universe,
i have held the words you never said, in these very hands of mine
how cruel of me to hold your gaze now
isn’t love as easy as it comes &
as hurtful as it lingers
i want to know nothing about you now
i have swam enough against tides
that left me dry

funny anecdotes & rainbow hearts
your eyes on my chest
my hands between my thighs
they said, watch out
for girls who wish to be boys

i don’t think they understood
the rage i inherited from women
who set themselves on fire

have you ever tasted this urgency
to stop the world
& lie beneath the ocean hand in hand

have you ever felt this defiance
hope against hope
love against wonder
bloodlust among sirens.

our sexuality is
the dense alleyways
we are ghettoed in
the politics of heat
that swelters our bodies in denial

what if we make our beds political
take your greasy fingers & coat them with our lust
what if we hold your hearts in our mouth
draw the shape of your desires with our
naked bodies

all the while
ignite us in your pyres
remind us
whose lips we can devour
& whose bodies we can defile

Panchami Manjunatha is a first year Law student at the National Law School University of India, Bangalore. She loves reading and writing poetry, in addition to hiding in corners of dusty libraries with a book and a cup of coffee.

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  1. Nandita

    Your poetry is like the bloom of a Gladiolus in a dark alleyway (no pun intended ;)…your words are truly enchanting!


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