Poems by Vipitha

Pic by Johannes Plenio


Translated from Malayalam by Ra Sh


Kissing a dead man

Will the world consider
kissing a dead man as a

A Kiss
when someone is in
senseless sleep
with drooping lips and face
in sparkling white robes,
as soft as little fish swimming up
to gently peck the feet.

on the lips
touching yet untouching
accompanied by tears.

A drop
dripping to the lips
without eye contact
without holding hands
like a river enjoining
a sea.

Their kiss must be
pure white.
The lips must pale whenever
the kiss came to mind.

Even the knowledge that
they can’t kiss ever again
will melt away like
an orange candy.

Unable even to ever recollect
the sweetness of that kiss,
those two individuals
would by then be in
two different continents.


The breastfeeding woman

“Must be just air whooshing
when you boob feed it,
Bitch, delivering four
and feeding till five.”

Mother-in-law would swear.
Father-in-law and the village echoed.

“She won’t stop
because she gets a high.”

The boys of Kaniyamparambu
were getting restless.

When she boob fed the baby
standing near the fence,
they pedaled up and down
on their cycles.

She just let both her knockers
hang out in the open.

“Here, have a good look, scumbags!”

“Melon boob! Bitch!”,
they shot off with their tongues
for the whole village to hear.

Mother-in-Law and father-in-law
Cursed under their breath.
“He did not leave her,
she drove him away.”

Mother-in-law made a heap
of the straw and swore
at her titties.

Father-in-law’s was a case
of sour grapes.

When he made a grab at them,
as she was sitting on a plank
feeding her baby,
she choked him to death
by thrusting a whole bazooka
into his mouth.

When the whole village screamed
“Melon boob, Boob murderess”,
she was engrossed in
breastfeeding her baby.


The snakes have hollows

The snakes have hollows.
The birds have skies.
There’s the smell of roasted peas.
The beaten rice is soaked in sugar.

Poonjeli hums a song
as she rushes by
after scooping out the
coconut flesh in slices.

The mousetrap leans against her
and with a rusty smell
cuts open a narrow killer road to her.

Three or four little mice
squeak softly to hide under
the Chinese frying pan.

A white one tries to rip open a sack.
Maybe he got the revelation
that the last supper is disguised
inside the sack in big slices.

Death comes, in seven and a half seconds,
in the form of the signs of liberty
they may soon experience.

Poonjeli picks up a mousetrap
by its ears and examines it
from all angles.

She hooks the coconut slices
and drags them to the
right side of the sack.

Poonjeli sings:
The snakes have hollows.*
The birds have skies.*

* A famous song from a Malayalam drama.


About the Author

Vipitha, born at Kollam, Kerala, is currently doing her Ph.D. at Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram. Her research is on the spatiality of Dalit settlements in Kerala. She has been writing poems mainly in social media and has also published in print weeklies like Madhyamam and online journals like wtplive, whitecrowart daily, etc.


About the Translator

Ra Sh (Ravi Shanker N)’s poems in English have been published in many national and international online and print magazines. His poems have been translated into German and French. He has published three collections of poetry – ‘Architecture of Flesh’ (two editions)  ‘The Bullet Train and other loaded poems’  and ‘Kintsugi by Hadni’. Ra Sh also translates literary works from Malayalam and Tamil into English.