Rituja Patil :: “Elegy”

All I ever wanted was to cultivate cherry tomatoes with you. Mix
the coarse sand with diatomaceous earth and vermicompost. Put
some dry moss at the bottom of a plastic pot. We could’ve soaked
the cocopeat brick overnight. I wanted to break it with you.
The trouble is, I just cannot forget you. The memory begins and ends
at the same place – had I given the seed time, would it have grown to be
four feet tall? Would it then have chains upon chains of cherry tomatoes?
Would we then pluck them together? What kind of baskets
would we pick them in? Would we then eat them? Would they be juicy,
tart and crisp? Would you make sourdough bread and put flaxseeds on it?
Would I drain the cottage cheese with a muslin cloth? Would we drink
Would I feed you with shaky hands and heart that beats like a wedding procession?
Would my lips part in unison with yours? The memory begins and ends at the same
place. The reach across the table leaves me empty handed. Would we have cultivated
a garden together, my darling? Would it have blossomed and dried up as we aged?


Rituja Patil is a queer poet from Mumbai, India. Her poetry has been published in Violet, Indigo, Blue, Etc., the licktey split and LiveWire. She tries to write poems that feel like a longing gaze at the ocean at night—sometimes it’s quiet, sometimes stormy. She’s also a law student on the side with research interests in intersections of personal liberty, bodily autonomy, and health care.