Coffee in Anonymity by Gitanjali Joshua

A coffee brownness laps the edges of my consciousness,
As I stir in luxurious sleep
Resisting for a few seconds more, the totality of awakening
“Coffee?” asks her smiling voice,
Rich and dark with shades of brown
As the drink she offers me.

I smile and sip,
In our blue-curtained room,
Our cocoon set delicately in the neon noise
Of the anonymous city.

The high-definition screen by my pillow
Brings stories from far away
Earthquakes, ‘terrorists’, pandemic lockdowns and protests
A long ant-line of migrants marching incomprehensible distances
Past inhospitable cities
Past brick, mortar, glass, sewer systems
The lifeblood of our city
All impossible without their toil
All invisible behind our curtained-blues.

I shake my head and sip
Safe and comfortable in my cocoon
Cradled in the garish anonymity of the city.

‘Honour killings’ in my hometown, yesterday.
A high caste girl, a low caste boy
Death on the railway tracks,
The vengeful honour of a family.

For a moment I shudder,
As I look at my love.
Her wavy black curls, wispy unruly cloud-like
Her deep dark eyes
Her chocolate-brown skin, rainbow tinted in a ray of sunshine
Her soft lilting voice...
And thank our different Gods
For the anonymity of two young women
Sharing a room, a life, a love,
Blending into the milling crowds
Of the big city.

GITANJALI JOSHUA is a perennial student, who enjoys skipping across disciplines. She is currently exploring an intersection of law, religion and gender in her doctoral thesis. She enjoys reading, writing, painting, an assortment of crafts, long walks and swimming. She loves dinosaurs, the sea and things that give her a sense of scale. She somehow manages to find cats to befriend wherever she goes. You can find some of her works at:

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