Haulover Beach in Journey & Other Poems

by Dr. Vishal Farid Raza

Haulover Beach in Journey

I lay on that pearly sand, nude
As did you-
Beside me;

With your tattooed body

You were carefree; borne of the sun and surf

I was hesitant and aware, as I disrobed
Sharam; shame
Sepeed through me,
Even amongst strangers;
Deeply embroiled in core fibers-

I remember vividly,
The reflection of your body
As the wave came crashing from behind,
Washing over you

Clumsily, in my South Asian (fresh-off-the-boat) way,
As you’d say;
I spluttered out salty water

Some unknown man looked your way,
Passed a friendly comment

Between losing self awareness and myself for you

I swam the distance between us
My eyes hooked yours
Our faces nearly brushing

Teasing– the way the seaweed brushed against
Bare skin

My hand slips into yours and I question
Your intentions

I know I’m foolish to say the least

Allowing myself to feel
For a faranghi, a foreignor

Yet you look at me and I crumble,
Turn on my stomach so I’m not completely exposed,
Rub sunscreen on your back- as if it comes to me naturally

The musculature of your back, feels like a map
Beneath trepid fingers

Smart alec– borderline obnoxious faranghi

Yet, you’re a mongrel like me;
You’ve read literature that astounds;
Pleasantly caring, intricately involved.

You’re a book I truly did misjudge by the cover.

Not your traditional good looking-

I’d be lying though if I denied—Your presence and every languid conversation; each subtle innuendo and flirtatious remark—

Left its presence.

With each crawling second of intimacy, I see clearer;
Our future crumble from leagues apart.

A summer fling?

You just weren’t what I had expected to find
On sale at Macy’s this time…


Could you hurt me once more?

Letting you in
Equivalent to sin
I herald the advent
Of your breath
Against my ear,
Across my neck

Whispered goodbyes
Implied fuck off
That Punjabi drawl

Hanging on to some fleeting emotion imagined across your retina

Impregnable stare
You never say you loved
-No, not me- someone
Must have damaged you
Though, it’s implicit in your touch

Dissimilar minds
Solace in that afternoon tea
Tete-a-tete baby

Your parents and mine
Embroiled in a war
Against religion, morals; that jelly
Renders us separable-

Trickle down effect…
Lovers once though, creed
Dashes thought.
Borrowed kisses
Rushed and indecent

Balance- an avalanche- on parched lips; suppressed (repressed?) desire

In a few years time
When you see me passing by
Ask yourself
Could you hurt me once more?

Ambivalent caresses and your starved-for-affection hug; I wish they taught us how to heal a soul-

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