Feet

SWAGATALAKSHMI ROYCHOWDHURY | CREATIVES


I remember your feet,

Grazing past mine

Under the table.

We were young

And we felt it fresh;

We took steps:

More together than apart,

Over city streets and softened cliffs,

Over dewy backyards to see the blue lizard,

Over sandy coasts past blue bottles.


At twilight,

My tired feet came back

To graze past yours,

Under the grey blanket,

In a world

Where July is but winter.


My feet were still

Young and ripple,

Without heels cracked,

Yet to break into

A new pair of shoes

That I got.


I was yet to go on bush-walks,

And traverse the woodlands,

And see the shrubs and ferns and eucalyptus.

I was yet to loosen the shoe strings,

And carelessly toss my shoes aside,

And dive into creeks,

And swim into lagoons,

And see lands of the Dharawal.


But you were in my shoes

More than I was in them:

To the extent of wearing them out,

To the extent of giving yourself blisters.

The shoes weren't mine

Anymore.


The shoes were torn,

The strings frayed,

And your feet had calluses.

It did not feel

Just as soothing

To place my feet

Next to yours.

For it was stuffy

Under the blanket,

And July was but gone.