About A Girl - Laboni Bhattacharya

The sight of your bony fingers
turning long photocopied pages
sets my stomach afloat.
I can't tear my eyes away
from your knuckles, joints
fingernails, riverine veins.
You're all elbows and knees
like construction equipment;
as sparse as a skyscraper.

This is my first time, you see.

There is asceticism in the way
that plaid shirt hangs on your frame,
your practical shoes, the men's watch.
You said you loved earrings
I love them on you too.
Are they a girly indulgence?
Your chocolate chip cookies
tasted like adrenaline on my tongue
so I was careful to chew silently.

I'm a little terrified of how I feel.

Your bones move
delicately under your skin;
your skeleton must be beautiful.
Your tongue is to-the-point
(if I'm not careful when we talk
its like getting a papercut)
I don't know where to put
this tangled need for you
to laugh at my jokes, not me.

- - -

Laboni Bhattacharya is a girl who is late for everything. She has nearly completed her post-graduation in English Literature from St Stephens College.