E.V. Ramakrishnan
If At All You See Again

If you could choose
between red and green
you will of course choose
green but red leaves
you no choice.
Lip-red for instance:
the bruised nipple of a budding
teak-leaf or the drunken
ambience of a ripe
cashew fruit.
But there is more to red
than meets the eye.
Brick-red, for instance:
the glaring Cyclops’ eye
of a flare-up tower
or the endless waste
of stone quarries.

Now that you have begun to see
red, it implicates you
like the tongue or the blood.
And if at all you see again
you are ready for green
and its marine expeditions
And you see the red-tiled roof
sloping into green, the quaking crown
of a Kathakali figure clutching at
the green night
or closer still, on second look,
the velvet green plantain leaf
the salty sparkle of the mango pickle.