Pankaj Khemka is a practicing physician who often turns to poetry to express the everyday triumphs and tragedies of the human condition. His most recent work is forthcoming Star*Line. He lives in Orange, California, with Floyd the Ficus.
Write me a love poem.
Read it to me in the high desert,
beneath a shower of shooting stars.
Tell me how you yearn
to breathe music into my woodwind,
paint your name across my chest
with your lipstick,
press champagne grapes to my lips
with the tips of your trembling fingers,
drizzle the delicate nectar of your passion
fruit onto my parched tongue,
give me a black velvet box,
fill it with sweet nothings,
build us a castle from the bones
of our ancestors, their skulls staring down at us
in silent awe,
from the tallest spires of our fortress.
Wipe away my tears
with the hem of that red dress,
the one you dropped
on my bedroom floor.
LITTLE RED LOVES HER GRANDMA
Riding-Hood smiles, remembering
how she used to sit on Grandma's lap
while Grandma read her fairytales.
But, ever since Grandpa passed,
Grandma's mind's been disappearing.
Now, because Grandma needs
to be with Grandpa,
Riding-Hood places a revolver
in her wicker basket,
a bottle of sherry for after,
dresses all in red
in case of splatters.
Tears blur her path
through the wintery woods,
but when she gets to Grandma's house
she sees Grandma's tattered
flannel nightgown on the porch,
bloody paw prints in the snow.