Dandelion Fingers


Your hands remind me of magic fountains

Tucked away in the corner

Of a forgotten tourist town.

Civilization has succumbed

 To the outgrowth of wilderness here.

Ornaments of untamed creepers

Have locked the crumbling buildings

In their unyielding embrace.

Your hands, with their time worn edges

And mossy sculptures,

Still pluck melodies out of thin air.

I was an accidental visitor in that town.

Lost, parched and desirous of dreams,

My soul was teeming with longing.

I wandered through the dilapidated buildings,

Sleeping sentinels of a dying evening,

Of a dying age,

Of a dying heartbeat

Still barely throbbing

To the rhythm in my jugular.

I wasn’t seeking grace. Not here.

Not in the shadows of the forgotten,

The valley of Death.

When I chanced upon your broken stone edges,

All I wanted was a bit of water –

An extension to my life.

I bathed in your ravenous tide,

Knowing that you too would run dry someday. 

The coins at your base flashed against my feet,

Like copper birds,

Like silver fishes,

Escaping the net.

I didn’t have coins to offer,

So I threw myself in.

Your hands remind me of magic fountains.

I know how they grant unspoken wishes

And weave spells into moonbeams.

But your eyes have always been

My favourite part of you.

They call to the sparrows

Asleep in my rib cage

And promise them release.

 I get nervous

When you see with your hands though.

For I know that

Those dandelion fingers

Can weave longing into skins like cold sea beds.

And I?

I have been drowning for an eternity.



The Birth of Venus


There were mermaids

In the oysters that trailed behind you

When you emerged from the sea at dawn.

“My Dionysus”,

I whispered, as I tried to comb away the memories

 Of the aquamarine nights

From your misty tresses.

Your amaranthine eyes

Caressed my numb skin

And smiled, “Why not Venus?”

They asked.


I blushed.


Your nubile embraces

Radiate light.

Like the defiant glow

Of a firefly,

Who refused to yield to Nyx.

As you started swaying to

The incantations of Zephyr,

 My body, in your arms yielded to your gentle motion.

I remembered the naked lovers

From my mother’s Tarot deck.

“It is not love that you receive,

But compatible silence,” she had said,

Before she took the card out into the garden

And buried it under a sapling, a magnolia tree.

My little bird feet,

Would water it every day,

And pray,

For a soul, who could weave symphonies,

Out of shared silence.


I peeped up at you and mused,

“Are we dancing to silence?”

You tilted your primrose smile

Up to the fading stars and invoked the Universe,

“We are dancing to the music of the constellations.”

My soul howled.

Echo had lost her body

For a love she could never hold.

And I have surrendered mine

To my necromancer lover.

Between a rueful smile

And the memory of a fire,

I remembered why my mother

Had thrown her Tarot deck 

From the cliff, into the sea

It was the year of the Famine

And the mermaids

No longer cared for food

Or the future.



About the Poet

 Sreeja Mitra is currently studying literature at Friedrich-Schiller University while working as a student researcher at Max Plank Institute for the Science of Human History, located in a tiny student town call Jena, tucked away in a quiet corner of Germany. She is a linguist who refused to forsake the poetry in literature. Indian by birth, but a global citizen in spirit, She loves to travel, and is forever searching for quiet corners to curl up with a book or make memories with strangers and immortalize them through her words.