Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Jeet Thayil

Dear Heptanesia,

Dear Heptanesia,

Dear Heptanesia,

When you stop on Market Street
for more anesthesia,
pick up some supplies
— brandy, papayas,
The Marsh Province Buys,
and oil
for the kerosene lamps.
Or else how will
the mail boat find us when
the power fails,
as it so often
does in these wretched swamps?
I need a hose, 7-gallon pails
(the frangipani’s
drowning in the heat),
a large black brolly,
and 2 DVDs: Pennies
from Heaven and Pope Pius:
His Story.
When you return, I’ll be up
waiting, not tired.
I like it that you’re here
helping me cope.
I like to know you’re in the room,
a little out of range,
not saying anything
but letting me know I’m not alone,
not entirely.
Close

Dear Heptanesia,

When you stop on Market Street
for more anesthesia,
pick up some supplies
— brandy, papayas,
The Marsh Province Buys,
and oil
for the kerosene lamps.
Or else how will
the mail boat find us when
the power fails,
as it so often
does in these wretched swamps?
I need a hose, 7-gallon pails
(the frangipani’s
drowning in the heat),
a large black brolly,
and 2 DVDs: Pennies
from Heaven and Pope Pius:
His Story.
When you return, I’ll be up
waiting, not tired.
I like it that you’re here
helping me cope.
I like to know you’re in the room,
a little out of range,
not saying anything
but letting me know I’m not alone,
not entirely.

Dear Heptanesia,

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère