[Poetry] Two poems by Vishaal Pathak

La Jolla


I still remember that evening the Pacific crept up on me.

Glistening in the distance– I chanced upon her

simmering just over the horizon. We were in a car, Sliding down the gradient

On a tarred road in La Jolla whose metalled insolence the ocean would have none of.

Soaring above the stack of concrete

that hemmed in the lane, the icy carpet splashed her way onto its territory, appearing eager to gobble us up. Ambivalent about her resolve, I fused my eyelids,

And let it all unfold in the mind’s eye–

Warm, as I was, in the motherly embrace of an emerald giant.


I had read only earlier that week

of the brain’s allegiance to keeping the body safe. To that end, it primes one for a fight, flight or freeze.

So, this heart that flutters on the slightest of mid-air turbulence

These legs that break into a sprint, palms itching to clench into a fist down a pitch-dark alley

A torso that collapses into itself when someone towers over, rekindling a memory foregone

Set itself – the instant it glimpsed of the hovering deep, yearning to devour our flesh and bones –

Free.

My heart tempered,

my arms wide open,

my body hurtling down the street at tranquil miles an hour

To be tucked under and under and under this blanket.


~*~


Sand Castles

Around the world we'd go Two of a kind She smelled like the beach Pockets full of sand I bronzed like the Sun Thieved pebbles and some shells Ours was a sand castle

Soaring over the moon

We'd come crashing down on it in waves Crush it build it crush it build it Until the castle withered and waned Inching away from the shore The waves – they wouldn't touch it anymore

All there’s left is a moat

Where our stars now go to weep

And all this while, All we needed was a boat with better sails.



Vishaal Pathak is an emerging writer based in India. He writes short stories and poems, mostly about memories and travel. Some of his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Five on the Fifth, The Vermilion, and ARTS By The People.