My clean shaven face was in supreme control,
slapped with Old Spice aftershave,
smelling as fresh as the dew at dawn,
or the fragrance of petrichor.
A broken pimple, oozing out pus,
while I get ready for the day. Old spice I am now,
42 years young, naughty by nature,
nice by how the hat fits a man who gleaned love
as summer flipped a page to autumn. A little
crease on a page, reminding me,  
it is the season of germinating wrinkles.
While I look at my face, a masala of lines, dark spots
broken pimples, lips that have kissed only
one woman, very aware, of what I have missed out on,
and yet, holding my fort
convinced that monogamy
is a worthy sacrifice.

How I will never be too old,
for a clean shave. The lawn mover
I drag on a face, to make me presentable.
How I’m perishing now, stale, weary, wilting,
like an old record that gets played
on a gramophone, unaware,
that music is digitized now and yet, seeing
a large circular disk, revolve
around an axis, pushing a button
on a tender sweet spot.

How I sense defeat in everything
I do, and yet I subscribe
to the old fashioned; diaries, photo albums,
gramophones, pressed flowers, shoe boxes,
analog watches, and a cassette player that plays
old country hits, while I take an old record,
wipe it clean and slowly let a gramophone’s limb,
press against her top surface.
I hear, Jim Reeves sing, a song
that crowds my heart, with memories, and yet
lets out a streak of saudade.

I gaze at the record, go round
and round, like a carousal, knowing
that we jump on a horse called memory,
a hippocampus, that plays
a somewhat similar record. Little editions
of a joyride, of a once was summer,  
while the bare back, of a hippocampus,
rests, just as savage and free,
as the mustang years, remembering
the watershed hour, when I prostrated,
to a lasso made of gold,
letting in, a saddle and a girth,
entering a stable that padlocks,
only from a latch on the inside.

DILANTHA GUNAWARDANA is a molecular biologist by training, yet identifies himself, as a wordsmith, papadum thief, “Best Laksa” seeker, poet of accident and fluke, hoop-addict, a late bloomer on all fronts, ex-quiz-druggy and humour-artist, who is still learning the craft of poetry. Dilantha lives in a chimerical universe of science and poems. His poems have been accepted for publication /published in Heart Wood Literary MagazineCanary Literary MagazineBoston Accent LitForageKitaab
CreatrixEastlitAmerican Journal of PoetryZingara Poetry ReviewThe Wagon and Ravens Perch, among others. Dilantha has two anthologies of poetry, Kite Dreams (2016) and Driftwood (2017), published by Sarasavi Publishers, and is working on his third poetry collection and a book of haiku poems. Dilantha was awarded the prize for “The emerging writer of the year – 2016” in the Godage National Literary Awards, Sri Lanka, while being shortlisted for the poetry prize, in the same awards ceremony.

More from Dilantha: WEBSITE

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