The Three of Us
Let’s go for a walk today, it’s been a while;
that shrine, it is still there –
evenings we spent there everyday, the three of us,
Do you remember? – oh, you must!
One’s been long dead now,
his grave dried, why then this new headstone?
Let’s go dust some altars again, just once! –
we haven’t touched those cold feet for long.
Six years after home, in my distant longing, there is no sense of loss.
When for days you’d said nothing, there had to be no inference of loss.
I left everywhere you were meant to be, even in the memories we shared;
I left the country you loved when it echoed merely an assonance of loss.
In the bleak whiteness of an airport, they asked of me my identity, I held,
respectfully, my heart, said there isn’t and is only an essence of loss.
They let me go, those harbingers of peace; I knock at the doors of an un-
named asylum, they measure my words, my pain of its resonance of loss.
Now the door will open, they’ll let me in, and I’ll think of that long night,
the damp discomfort of the dark room; its stiff, quiet inhabitance of loss.
That long night, when in silence you could but you said nothing, I knew
then that your words, and Elise, my name, were my inheritance of loss.
Jayant Kashyap is a Pushcart Prize-nominee and was shortlisted for the 2021 New Poets Prize. He is the author of two pamphlets, Survival (Clare Songbirds, 2019) and Unaccomplished Cities (Ghost City Press, 2020), and co-founded Bold + Italic back in 2018.