Two Poems by Christ Keivom


Up the Steep World

“I dreamt—marvellous error! — that it was God I had here inside my heart”

-Antonio Machado 

The bones shifted and the earth

Cracked open, every mouth gaping

For the promise of water-


And there was peace.

This was the way you came?

One day.


One smile.

Little by little, lips sparkled like

Flint stones with which came the spark

Of pristine eyes and confused teeth.

One day.

One day when the wind was slow dancing 

Teasing the pink petals of grandma's bougainvillea

To dance with him.

Oh, the bougainvillea creepers that every evening 

Caught the last light of day

And red flashes of birds

quick as a word, 

Would disappear between the leaves 

And I would wonder, 

Where is the bird that wakes me up every morning;

The one from Shelley's Skylark? 

My eyelids always heavy as

The ten o'clock night tames them 

While the unending queue of orange lampposts 

Would peep behind the curtains 

They became my lashes 

They would not let me sleep-

I know, one day

I will wake, unsure 


I'm certain... passed...yesterday

Have I... thinking... circles again? 

And you will be just an idea 

I met in a poem 

That I cannot completely remember 

And cannot completely forget 

You would be just like those 

Poems of better poets 

That I wished I wrote-

A poem of my life, 

That I want to show everyone 

Like a dream of yesterday

That returned with everything that was taken 

And would come into my room to kiss me

Despite all of the mistakes after mistakes after mistakes. 



Today I woke up in my body

A facade: of all the bodies it has been before 

This time it was like my dog

For the most part loyal

To instructions,

House-tamed, but not entirely belonging.

Through a crack in the eyes of the door

You could see—

He was already gone. Dissipating.

This doesn’t mean I’m saying goodbye.

I have realised found and lost have equal

Weights of permanence 

And have learned to live by water:

My body like a river smells of where

It is coming from and not

Where it is going

As each body of water beside another

Body of water

Plenishes the world,

Hope fills up in a pitcher in my heart.


Christ Keivom is an undergraduate literature student at Delhi University. You can reach out to him on Instagram with the handle. He is on Instagram @passmethecigarettes

Cover Image: The Spruce 


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