• Yelani Peiris

When I Sit With You on a Sunday

Sometimes I am

Writing on your skin

When we transform

On a cold afternoon

Larvae melting together in

Blanket shells

We are entangled creatures

Hot ginger tea and

A small cube of jaggery sitting

On a saucer

My hair curls in our humid breath

It makes me miss the Lankan heat less


Sometimes you are

The beat of a Kandyan drum in my ears

That drowns out

Footfalls of our neighbours

A song changing on occasion

Do you remember

There was a taste in the air

A slight smell of cumin

Wafting through the walls

A memory on my tongue


I will always write you

Onto my arms

I am melting into you

Just like when the sun

Smeared beautiful brown

Onto my skin

Kissing me lovingly

Do you remember

Brown girls with brown eyes

Black and oiled plait like

Generations of mothers before us

I cut mine off because it was too heavy

Yours is ribboned at the end

Curling in my fingers

Rebelling in my hand.


This poem was originally published in the 'Curated by Kopi Collective' segment of the Young Feminist Network's February Newsletter run by Everystory Sri Lanka. The theme was 'Intimacy and Relationships.'