Sailing with Father

Gopikrishnan Kottoor


The night stirs hunched, gremlined to our wet bones.

The sea hits harder against the stern rocks.


Where do we go from here

Now that we have reached mid ocean?


The catamaran whips salt in our naked faces

As your parched throat opens its gull beak

Blowing dark feathers all over my face

For your spoonfuls of grains in my crying hand.


Your mouth turns a wasted kiss

Lost in its sad season of wounds

Where we long to forget

The shadows that have tied us.


But there comes a time.


A time to forget

The cities that burn us in,

Lit with luminous tears


Among sad fireflies breaking their small fires

In the gathering darkness of our nights.


And in the symphony of my receding hand,

I watch your staring eyes drift past the window,

Slipper the trodden sails in the rain


In a catwalk of starlessness

Razoring the long clear weather.