Saturday, February 08, 2014

Private staircase

Poetry, Feb '14
By Shaleen Rakesh

A private staircase from the roof down to the hall

the space in which no one is seen
the timelessness of balconies

the closeness to an opening round the bend

here there are stairs on the air
here we should meet

I’ll bring the silence 

you bring the possibility.

Shaleen Rakesh is an author and activist based in New Delhi and has been at the forefront of the gender and sexuality movement in India for the last 20 years. He was the primary petitioner to challenge Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code in 2001. He currently works as Director at India HIV/AIDS Alliance in New Delhi, and is Editor with independent publishing house OpenWord in New Delhi.

Poem sourced from The Lion and the Antler, the first collection of poems by Shaleen Rakesh (World View Publications, 2013). Limited number of copies available with Varta – please write to

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