Ria Dhingra is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is pursuing a degree in English literature. She is a lover of stories, bike rides, post-it notes, and trying to find beauty in the ordinary.
Return to Ground
by Ria Dhingra
Name five things you can see
I begged to view beauty
the moment I realized I could not create it.
Hidden amongst the ordinary are
breakfast tables, anecdotes,
bike rides, broken glass.
Highlights to hold close
as a shield against the unbearable.
Name four things you can touch
There is fear in darkness.
I must feel around to make sense of it.
A great library of stories,
all of which one can never read.
There are shelves I cannot reach.
I wish to grow taller, to touch others,
as the books once touched me.
Name three things you can hear
My pounding heart is
anything but steady.
I try to sedate its restless beating.
There is a calling to move,
a screaming to stay.
And I cannot help but think that
all the chords in the cosmos aren’t
enough to stop composers from
trying something new.
Name two things you can smell
Grandmother said the scent
of ocean air gave life new meaning.
Landlocked, I stir salt into water,
renouncing my own satisfaction.
My glass is half empty,
there is sulfurous suffocation.
It’s impossible to make
myself an ocean.
Name one thing you can taste
From birth, I grow
to cover bitter disappointment.
Learn to forgo fear of oblivion,
embrace sweet security.
It’s too late for glory.
I continue to search with a poem,
hard dirt holding down my shoes,
candied words escaping through a pen.