6159111382_18cd47148a_o I want a boyfriend like a banyan tree. A man who’s a forest unto himself, with conspiracies of birds, and secret blossoms, and shaded places; a matrix generous enough for the world.

And into this forest I will wander, a beloved of the world, and walk beneath the aegis of his boughs knowing that the same love that roots them raises me. I will become entangled. I’ll hang a swing from his shoulders and spend all my life in his lap, swaying from pleasure to pleasure to pleasure. I’ll press my face to his ancient heart and be consoled that contained within it are all my silences. And my quietest hopes, gossamer like the wings of fig wasps.

He will sustain me as he sustains the terrain of his presence. I will step into his solitude like a miracle and smudge him sacred.

I’ll rub my limbs with earth and fall asleep in the adoration of his arms. I’ll taste the rain from his bark and the wind from his stranglers and invent a susurrus language. I’ll count myself among his roots, adventitious, and lift my scented wrists to him and say, “Smell me”. And when he says I have a mouth like a Christ flower and cheekbones for which the continental kiss was invented, I’ll ask him to prove the heart’s hagiography. I’ll peer through his leaves at the marmalade moon, and if he keeps very still, I’ll sing.

He’ll be too good to let go, too abiding to outgrow.

And like this I will thrive, a wild and tender and cherished eloquence. Pollen-drenched and petal-hipped, lulled by his breath, a perfect still water reflection. I’ll braid my hair into his and merge into his meditation, safe and gently swaying.

From pleasure to pleasure to pleasure.


About the Author: Sharanya Manivannan is the author of a book of poems, Witchcraft. She has received an Elle Fiction Award, a Lavanya Sankaran Fellowship, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize twice. She can be found at and on Twitter as @ranyamanivannan.

Story Song: ‪"La Raíz de Mi Tierra" by Lila Downs, Niña Pastori and Soledad‬

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Cox