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BooksMay 19, 2023

The Friday Poem: ‘Out of love ritual in ten steps’ by Sudha Rao

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

A new poem by Wellington poet Sudha Rao.

Out of love ritual in ten steps

  1. Don’t let the sunlight or skylight strike your face, but do watch how his hand parts the curtain.
  2. Move your body to the cool part of the bed just so he can see your hips rise under the bed sheet.
  3. When you open your eyes, make sure they are slanted to the ground, so he cannot see last night’s black shadow.
  4. Take yourself to him but only when he can no longer stand.
  5. Keep yourself but open your mouth to say, sometimes.
  6. When he turns to you, stay where you are, don’t move away, stay where you are, stay where, stay.
  7. No turning has ever reaped a reward. But you may want to think about it – for your lips to move to say, now what, with your eyes slant.
  8. You may invite him to say now what and he might say I don’t know or he might say, with his eyes looking you slant, in a little while.
  9. So, now turn your body and say, in a little while what.
  10. In a little while, he says nothing.


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed.

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