Encountering Poetry / March 2012 (Issue 16)

Flashback Sonnet: B-Film Actress Seeks Lost Bastard Child

by Ranjani Murali

You were conceived on a beach with flare lamps, fan fare,
rubber horns, bus-halt screech, the hero with a penchant for number-plate
watching, salt-rock, stiff nods from directors wiping         
necks with blue-checked handkerchiefs, disco-ball shard light dancing
off haywards 5000s, sambrani plumes from nearby balconies, the clamor
of sundal boys’ cycle bells and aluminum cans,
and even a hunched man taking notes on suitable body
angles. Start roll camera was not a cue for extending bare knee, it was a precise

rupturing of polished prism by an eye of light flecked with raw silica—crystals
wrenched from sheerness, coating the love-scene with an opacity that your fetal,
forming eyes could have never known; you, a springing of cinematic effusions and silicate

songs in the rain, perhaps now bridge-layer, cement-mixer, glass carver, perhaps master
of straight edges or crenelle, or maybe just a construction worker passing by water, seeing
through sand, as my skin did that day: an observation of pure refraction, gaze in glass.

This is the second prize winner of Cha's "Encountering" Poetry Contest. Read a description of the poem by Ranjani Murali here.

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