To Neruda’ Sonnet XVII Beyond the Panorama September 28, 2020

To Neruda’ Sonnet XVII

Our weathered amethyst glints dull

to the eye so we drown out the verse 

while it tries to shatter an acrylic moon —

Is this the decadent promise of poetry?

Is this how the heart wanders up my throat

and sweeps the dust off a placid tomb?

My fingers siphon the ink from the page

but there is still a soft disturbance 

lingering in the air as it trembles with 

the memory of your words — 

You talk of ‘the light of hidden flowers’

and I can taste my marrow breathing 

in the ridges of your skeletal barge.

You preach with an eerie precision of

loving ‘between the shadow and the soul’

and I float in the murky waters of a poem that 

quivers with a gentle breeze much like my own.

Your footfalls murmur at the door

with the tempting rustle of crimped silk

and while my typewriter punches out 

the same story in different guises, 

I feel your palms on my shoulder-blades,

guiding the keys under an amber light.

You touch the paper with a quiet breath 

of recognition and your skin sinks into 

its shallows — the depths that pretend 

to be you and somewhere along the process,

find their own essence reflected in your thoughts.

Is this what it feels like to belong?

Is this the precipice where I flit along the edge

and fall to meet the warm bends of your arms?

You talk of our lives merging to the point

where you cannot tell one end from the other,

and while sometimes I almost consider it a lie, 

I have often watched the ‘arrow of carnations’ 

dying off and shuffled back to our old window-sill 

where only the faint ghost of rain reaches

as I am cradled in your seams.

Our weathered amethyst glints dull 

to the eye so we scrunch up the dried petals

that grow from the willow of your neck;

we pluck that acrylic moon, still intact,

and crush it to a sugary iridescence —

We meld your arms into mine to sprinkle

your verse into the fragile hour of night.

And there it shines.

Abha Salwan
Abha Salwan

Abha is a connoisseur of poetry, creating magic with her words. She often pens down her opinions on books and movies, and narrates the most creative tales in her short stories.

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