that summer we became birds


the tips of our wings / felt softer / than our hands ever could / ahead of us / the lake lay / like glass / lay like morning / pale and slippery with light / i watched you / wading through the water / you were dream-struck / like an infant / stumbling into an open field / for the first time / eyes sticky / with filaments of light / as a child / i was scared of water / in the deep ends / of swimming pools / how desperate i was / to breathe / my feet / slipping / over the tiles / and i would pray / god / keep me alive / but that was another summer / back then / we ran over hot cement / till a small fragment / of sky / twisted inside us / till the blue / was burrowed / deep in our throats / back then / summer was a shroud of grass / held for hours / over smoke / late april / we forced open the windows / to get dizzy / on night air / late april / how we longed / to be like birds / all night / our limbs / held down by heat / like earth / held down by rain / all month / we drank warm milk / and slept / the afternoons away / but that was another life / now / we are older / cold white / and feathered / now / we are tired / of all the years / time is a thin aching membrane / that stretches / and never breaks / now / we will live / like we have lived and lived / and yes / the sky is large / and merciful / yes / i part my wings / and they open / like a memory / now / i will watch you / fly / as you search / for someplace / without sound / search / for blue / pressed into / blue / for someplace / where i will meet / you / summer / is another name / for all / that we forgot / yes / this time / we will learn to love like birds / like clothes / drying out in the open / how they raise their hearts / to the wind / how they billow / with air / growing lighter / and lighter / yes / this time / we will live like this /


like we could almost swallow the sky



Anagha Smrithi is an aspiring writer from Bangalore, India. Her work has previously appeared in Anthropocene, Nether Magazine, The LiveWire and Delhi Slam Poetry. She usually writes about the body and everyday spaces.