'Bed Painting' by American contemporary realist oil painter Dana Levin (b.1969).

A Pillow Named ‘Desire’

On my 26 x 39 (inches) bed
lies a pillow –
mushy and white –
named ‘Desire’
on which my head sinks
once a day or night,
sometimes twice when you
shed your eyes of negligence at me.

The pillow cover –
17 x 26 (inches) –
made of wrinkled cotton has small,
three-petal purple flowers printed on it,
that droop when you
let your well-crafted features
not sink into my sight –
a tease that you are;
only salty tears to revive them at night?

You are a post-midnight snack
dipped in vinegar –
a little of soya-sauce and sesame oil
to coat you up;
would you not let me have a bite
of your flavoursome existence –

only then would I be able to
sleep well –
my head sunk into oblivion on my
17 x 26 (inches) pillow named ‘Desire’.

My 26 x 39 (inches) bed may not have
enough space for you,
but I have learnt to live in
a compromising manner –
I would crawl up a bit
and make space for you
so that we both can lie-down
and let the seasons pass –
monsoon to autumn,
autumn to winter,
winter to spring,
and spring to summer.

When summer comes next year,
we shall get up from my 26 x 39 (inches) bed
and comb our hair,
have a light breakfast;
I may perhaps smoke a cigarette
or two,
and then we shall part our ways.

And when you leave my house,
it shall become a shrine for lovers
who walk hand-in-hand,
stop by in mornings,
and evenings,
to offer freshly-bloomed daisies
to my pillow named ‘Desire’
which has the shape of our heads imprinted –
seasons of love well-spent.


Art by Dana Levin.



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