Boys' Afternoons: Two Poems by Arjun Rajendran



We were all in boys’ schools so it was a boys’ afternoon.
No architect can predict what will occupy his designs;
the stack of old mags in the balcony for instance,
crackling with sea air. We fished out one,
Samantha Fox skimpy on the cover, nude in the pages.
Joy and the other guy tripped their eyes over the photos.
So what? I said. Joy turned his face to me, irate, confused.
Even your sister has those, I said. He threw me at the wall.
What had I stated but fact? I had no lewd intention,
no adult understanding of propriety, just fact.
Your mom has those too, he retorted, tears streaming,
then he apologized for pinning me like that.

Post Box

Relatives, strangers, classmates, all
in courteous humor used this phrase
while pointing at my fly: Your post box is open.
This conjured visions of envelopes containing
letters to pen pals in crayon, sealed with glittery stickers,
heaped over my privates. Then I realized
a Post Box is red and a Postman rides a bicycle.

I forgot about this till I first tried making love,
she unzipping correspondence from my pants,
searching in vain for that piece of mail addressed
only to her. Keep looking, I urged, wiping
sweat off my brow, it’s bound to be in there,
The royal missive. The Post Box never offered it up;
now I’m left with so many pen pals.

About the Author:

Arjun Rajendran is the author of SNAKE WINE, published by Les Editions du Zaporogue in 2014. He lives near San Francisco.