Poetry: The reason I feel so close to you by Satya Dash
Satya Dash’s poem is a cinematic tour through a memories filled with “unexpected pleasure.” The speaker, who is gripping in their directness, cites the metaphysical and then proceeds to locate this sense of intimacy in a catalogue of everyday occurrences: ketchup on pizza, a blue shirt, a bookstore.
The reason I feel so close to you
is metaphysics. I wanted to sound intelligent
while saying that, but now it actually feels
like the truth. I think we were in love for a little while,
craving the night and its stars, the taste of their disappearance
lingering low on our lips as we left for work with heavy eyes.
I can’t say I was happy, but it was fucking remarkable.
A year of tomorrow was an hour back then. Speed of time
is what all great movies are about. Sometimes, I suck
at time. Instead of warming a pizza slice, I roast it.
With ketchup, it’s still yummy. This is the best part—
goof-ups leading to unexpected pleasure. Or at least
some pleasure after suffering. In our case, before.
It’s supposed to be my lucky day when bird poop lands
on my crisp blue shirt. The stain I wear as a badge of honor
to a bookstore for a poetry reading. There, a man shakes
my hand and inquires why write poetry if it doesn’t sell.
All I gather is—you don’t have to, grinning hard
to compensate for my lack of erudition, trying to look
like I’m not trying too hard. He reveals he is grieving
the end of a long relationship and to stay motivated,
he reads fiction in the night, jogs early in the morning.
Through a window behind the shelf of bestsellers,
I see rain lash a telephone pole. A storm surfs through
the city and the lights go out. There are no cabs.
We sip coffees till midnight and listen to cats meowing.
We discuss what made us happy as children.
Satya Dash is the recipient of the 2020 Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize and a finalist for the 2020 Broken River Prize. His poems appear in Poet Lore, ANMLY, Waxwing, Rhino Poetry, Cincinnati Review, and Diagram, among others. Apart from having a degree in electronics from BITS Pilani-Goa, he has been a cricket commentator. He has been nominated previously for Pushcart, Best of the Net, Orison Anthology and Best New Poets. He grew up in Cuttack and now lives in Bangalore, India. He tweets at: @satya043.