Lover & Reason

by Nidhi Agrawal (March 2023)

Amantes, Rufino Tamayo, 1950



Draped in the mulberry silkworm’s skin,
Fragile and stormy skeleton
Waits for its lover.




Through the rose tainted lips
Words suffocate to deathblow
Cotton balls of unrequited air
Choke the trachea,
I can’t breathe.
There are reasons for
A paramour to withdraw from her lover.
But, there is no reason
To not love her lover.




From senescent odor of
Washed out, antediluvian lamps to
Golden, dressed up candelabra spice,
Love traveled through the fossilized
Caves of
Agony and warm fuzzes,
War and peace,
Murk and dawn,
Acceptance and denial,
Chaos and calm,
To find the refuge between its
Lover’s heart!




The bones got knackered
Sputtering inside the body.
Millions of phytoplankton
Swim, wander, flutter and await
The sunlight to penetrate into the
Stagnant streams of blood-water.

Behind the bony enclosing wall
Of the chest,
Rip-roaring sacs of life asphyxiate.
Fishes—cartilaginous, jawless and the bony,
Smelly, slippery, salty and deliciously golden
Bug out of the aquarium
To respire freedom dissolved in the
Free-flowing waters, absorbing life.

Love, when kept in captivity
Etiolates and yearns for
The sunlight to prosper and bloom.
Love, when diluted with incarceration

Suffocates and yearns for
The free-flowing waters to
Swim and travel to the places
Unknown to its lover.



Lavender Essence

I have been looking for
The places where the rhythm of
My breezy heart is making music.
In the perceptible existence,
I find nothing.
In the inconspicuous hallucination,
I find nothing.
Just as the essence of
Lavender hides in its
Flower spikes,
I think, my heart is hiding where
The two worlds touch.




My feet remember
The sound of your silent heart.
My eyes remember
The sight of your blind glasses.
I remember
How time danced on our fingertips
When we made love, and,
How my heart poured light into the
Vessel of your eyes, and,
How your laughter tickled my anklet-tied footsteps.
How stinging is it to remember
Something that was, and
How agonizing is it to walk with
Something that is not.


Table of Contents


Nidhi Agrawal has a background in communication design in media and entertainment spaces. She strongly feels that poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder. She is the author of  Confluence, a collection of poetry. Her work has been published in Chronogram Media, Yale University, South Asian Today, Indian Periodical, Spill Words Press, Rising Phoenix Review, Setu Journal, and elsewhere. She lives in India.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast


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