A poem by Madhuri
Every couple resigned to faithfulness
Has to make room for the moon.
She elbows her white rump in between the covers
Presents her white valley like an albino baboon.
She is the armpit of a sailor
Pouring sniggering hair-dew
Into the husband’s flexing nostrils.
She is a delicate breast
Preserved in darkness, satin-cushioned
For the husband to dream upon.
She taps the wife’s heart
Like a silver bell
And takes her out onto the moors
To dance with her throat bare.
Each couple, between them
Must make room
Grudging and complaining
For a terrible drumbeat, pulling on their ears
Like a cross parent.
The moon gets in there
Insistent as cat or child
Claiming her rights like the government.
Big as an exercise ball, she does yoga
Her knees in your stomachs,
Tromping – when the clock says it’s gone two –
You never know who’s going to get in bed with you
When you think you are just two –
The murmuring, the licking, the sidling, the shining
Upsetting all your meanings,
Filching the covers, making the bed small
When you thought it was just you two.
Illustration by Amiten