Prem Sylvester

In the Mirage We Lived

Summers here dissolve in your laughter. Two cuts of lemon, iced tea
we share underneath the arjuna tree, limbs clasped in shade. Paper cups
hold swirls of the fleeting afternoons we pretend are enough.
My bones are never as soft as when you rest on my shoulder, when
your hair cascades over my arm like the petroleum we came from, lucent.
Our words take shapes so nebulous we cannot tell if they are true.
Red brick melts into the tar our feet saunter on. Arms ringed around
my waist, your steps beat on my heart, echoes of cerulean pasts.
You lead me to where stones grow stories, and I think of diamonds.
Ores glint of what may be. Moondust stirs free of seismic futures, invisible.
We sit on the bench where the sunset folds into our laps, where I
saw you first through the rush, a ripple of white in the river of gravel.
If I told you how I felt still, I know your lips would move in ellipses.
Every vision of transition collapsing with your hesitant falsetto.
You leave behind wisps of your embrace. A history of touch on my palm.
The night stays longer where you now take wing. A dove in the high violet.
Summers here are unbearable. When the afternoons come, I hide away from the sun.


Prem Sylvester is a writer from India who turns the ephemera he catches whiff of into words. His work has appeared in After the Pause, The Selkie, Homology Lit, Lammergeier, The Shore, and Kissing Dynamite Poetry, among other homes. His work has been nominated for the Orison Anthology.

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