Poetry 2017 Longlist, Poornima Krishnan

Not an Epiphany
Poornima Krishnan

I know what you’re thinking, what’s going through your mind
Every word, every little detail,
every glance and all that it entailed.

Did you sigh too loudly? Was your laugh too pitchy?
Was your hair too short or your walk too clumsy?

I know what you’re thinking, solemnly, so quietly
what’s going on inside your head, if only, if only.

If only he’d seen you in the new black dress and five pounds lighter,
If only you’d worn your lipstick one shade brighter

If you’d worn your hair down, maybe lingered on that kiss
or strapped those heels on, and acted a little coy

I know what you’re thinking,
every word, every detail, every tone, every tease

If he’d noticed you inhale sharply when he came a little closer,
or if he’d listened to the lilt in your voice when you said his name
If only he’d heard your story,
and looked deeper into your soul

Was your joy too loud? Did your passion confuse?
Did your melancholy scare? Did your compassion amuse?

Was it that bump on your nose, the tilt of your head?
Was it the curve of your hip, as you lay in bed?

I know what you’re thinking, that voice that won’t stop ringing,
If only you’d tried a little harder, to awaken him to all that’s you
But you let the magic swallow you, so why didn’t he too?

That flush on your face when you spoke about the future,
The excitement, the adventure, the dream so deep,
The kindness in your gaze, and in your giggle the rapture,
He should have seen these things while you were still asleep

The truth in your fears, In your klutzy steps the glamour,
The fire in your speech, why didn’t they enamour?

So where did you falter? What really did matter?

A feeling so natural, almost like a reflex,
Like a laugh, or a cough, or a sneeze you can’t contain
But a rush so real, not anything you can feign

A tingle so pleasing, almost like a drug,
It confounds, it breaks, yet it lifts you to the skies
But a thrill so easy, not one for him to realise

A wonder, a fog, even a mystery,
But a torment so willing, darling, not an epiphany.

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