Encomium In Orange And Black


By Sharanya Manivannan

                        When we have risen
from the eloquence of lust and stumbled
      into the stupor of hunger,

I will send you out, bare of torso, to buy
      kumquats, loose-leaf tea, sweets
   made of milk and silver, impulses.

I will let you loose into      the wind-wildered city
in the hour of the evening orison

         and mosquitoes, among the shadows of
   a Cointreau light that nictitates
in the palette of the monarch butterfly.

          —O, pulchritudinous creature
with your hair unruly as a mangrove,
        
        echelons of bite marks
bruising the symmetry of
   your shoulders,

my beauty, my tigrine one,

               let me watch
    from the leaf-strewn terrace
as you wander the startled streets,
    
     your arms full of acquisitions,
your lips blackened from kissing
   the collyrium on my eyes.


Sharanya Manivannan is the author of a book of poems, Witchcraft. Her poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in Hobart, Wasafiri, Drunken Boat, Prairie Schooner, Killing The Buddha and elsewhere. She has received an Elle Fiction Award and a Lavanya Sankaran Fellowship. Twitter: @ranyamanivannan

Photo Credit: Catriona Mitchell

Photo Credit: Catriona Mitchell