For a Broken Compass
To find your moorings
Abandon the map
Pluck coordinates from wind
Feel latitude in sunlight,
Mark shadows for longitude.
Forget those human shapes
stenciled and stamped
Walk instead under winged domains.
Take Monarch Butterflies for cocooned cartographers,
perhaps even amplify the stones’ vibrations like a bat.
Quietly chase the moon of fleeting nights
then trace the seasons from tan-lines on skin.
Mark waves graphed in your lover’s eyes
And listen to them echo the ocean waves.
Know that you cannot keep these directions
to stare still,
under revolving constellations.
Nivedita Nath is a first-year PhD scholar in the Department of History. Her focus is on South Asia and she is particularly interested in how the Himalayas have loomed over the geographical imagination of late colonial India.