The Art of Gliding Downhill

savage as rush hour traffic and the day is full of

noises, little womanly trills of Christmas baubles

falling to the floor. Stale, out of season, but never

without their cheer. I’ve been flinging emoji hearts

at you with the force of a small river. In time, we shall

put each other away for more convenient hours, for when

the shadows trail, the glasses have been emptied. For a

hurried night when all the phones are dead. I imagine us

talking about the sea, we wonder if it consumes the sky,

or if the quiet, blue sky is a blanket warming the invisible feet

of water. From lover to lover you’ve scattered your human bits

with ease. The secret is to keep moving, but not half as carelessly.

It was winter and light outside. She was smearing lipstick on an oval

mirror. Who knew you’d want to thaw an ice cube in your paw, and

there I would be – wriggling, tiny on your furry palm: surprised Alice

in a puddle of slush? More amazed than alarmed. What can I say, the

air kept on turning still, and admiring itself. Step inside, listen to the

steady sounds of an empty house. After all these years, you brush

away the cobwebs between old shelves, strike a match to see your way.

You’re sliding white sheets off the couch, the bed, the coffee tables,

Sit yourself down on the floor. Drink some tea from a familiar cup.

You’re not home yet, but you can live with me. Come, step inside.


Apala Bhowmick is currently pursuing her masters in English Literature from Jawarharlal Nehru University, and lives in New Delhi, India. She handled a poetry forum at her undergraduate college, and has edited two anthologies brought out by the same. Her poems have appeared in 3Elements Review and The Light Ekphrastic among other places. She is also one of the editors at Coldnoon, a journal of travel writing brought out from India.