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Words by Camellia Choudhuri
Image by Claudio Parentela
I was walking down the creek
When I heard her call me;
Her voice the sweep of soft breath on my cheek;
As the gushing rivulet roared,
And the wind rustled in the leaves of the great oaks.
I turned and lay me eyes upon her
To find beauty in her ragged clothes -
She exuded sensuality from every pore,
Her modesty barely protected by those pieces of fabric.
Her honey hued hair played with the breeze
Like the nimble blades of grass in spring,
A specimen of perfection she was with her undulating curves
That rose and fell like the rolling hills.
But her eyes! They were so innocent!
So childlike and sorrowful;
Deep azure like the unfathomable ocean
That held the immortal secrets of the world.
I stopped in my tracks.
Entranced, enchanted and paralyzed by her gaze.
Her tender lips, I noticed, trembled before she spoke
In a hushed murmur so that none could hear
The anguish in her tone:
“I cry to you, but you remain deaf
I desperately warn you that I cannot bear this torment any longer
But you pretend not to notice.
I gave you all you wanted,
I strove to satisfy all your desires,
I surrendered myself to you.
But you did forsake me!
Left me shaken to tumble into a bottomless abyss.
You savagely plundered all of me and offered me no reward.
No reward for my unconditional sacrifice,
No reward for my willful submission,
No warm affection for my heart that I lay before you.
Did I deserve nothing more?”
I was confused.
So utterly shocked I was by her accusation,
That I would almost defend myself.
But when I looked at her, she smiled slightly,
Before walking up close and pressing herself to me.
I could smell the woody perfume that emanated from her.
Her sinewy arms travelled up mine as she tentatively grasped my shoulders.
I could no longer maintain a coherent thought,
Not a word could I speak, intoxicated by her seduction.
I was rendered utterly powerless to her touch,
Vulnerable to the sensations she unleashed on me.
I did not attempt to stop her.
I did not want to.
Drawing me closer to her face
She whispered against my lips
“Give me what I deserve.”
And I knew I would.
When I awoke
I could not move.
I looked about and saw
My being enrobed in the flaky bark,
My feet embedded beneath fathoms of the earth.
From my fingers unfurled the transparent leaves
A lark rested on my shoulder and sang,
While I tried to comprehend this sudden metamorphosis.
The clarity was stark.
Entwined around me there was a twisting tree,
With golden leaves and shimmering branch.
It was surreal; a dream, I thought.
Then I spied two cerulean blossoms
That fluttered in the wind and showed that all was reality.
I knew I was chained here forever.
For the ingratitude that we have shown,
I mutter a silent apology,
And in response I only hear the chime of childlike laughter
With the gush of the churning waters of the brook.
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