May-Jun 2011: Poem 'Time Travelling Preserves' by Shruti Rao

Afternoons are my favourite slots,
that crack in time between 2 and 3 pm
where the clock falls through, leaving
behind only an echo, ticking away
as false consciousness.
The absolute buoyancy of being, when
a weak drizzle of sunlight filters from
behind carefully handpicked curtains,
the air around me bristling with possibility
of tea, biscuit, doorbell, sofa, siesta,
where between the lullaby of lunch and
the threat of twilight, I am invincible.
And when I sprinkle salt onto the tiny flowers
on my tablecloth, half-consciously,
I’m also pickling away the moment.
I hold that sort of happiness with quivering hands.
Remembering, even empires have crumbled.

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