By Lopa Banerjee
House and the Housewife
The kitchen spatula, drops of leaves
Bonfire of the soul,
The light of smoke, burning,
Twisted, dead voice of the bird,
Long lost in desired migration.
Flames of twilight, faint kisses
Fall and melt, unhappy embers,
Hurricanes of dreams hauling on,
Failed, stained with recycled anguish,
Scars of practiced jerks, moves, copulation.
Breaking into waves, sobs, poetry of want
The doll house cries, mocking,
Moist desires trampled,
Endless rivers of afflicted hours.
The breasts suckled by
Mortal flame of infants, born, extracted
From the life of fire, crooning, nourished.
Whispering, shouting scarlet,
Forming canopies, bursting forth,
In shards, crushing,
Like an evening song,
Solitary dreams cooing, alone, like a tunnel,
Flapping wings, echoing, rising in oblivion,
Dark leaves muttering, shattered, undaunted.
Note: A humble dedication to the unwavering spirits of women who love and nurture lives, selflessly, unconditionally. I also dedicate this to the battered women bearing the onslaught of patriarchy within the four walls of what they call ‘home’. Written in February 2015.
Don’t Tell Me: A Plea
Don’t tell me when you come back to me
Frost-bitten, smitten with the wind-drift,
Bespattered with mud, and slain,
That I did not wait for you long enough.
My ashes, kept intact,
The morsels of my deepest elements,
The fluid warmth of me,
The deep, dark trenches of my being
Have frozen, nude and barren,
In the waiting.
Don’t tell me that I lie and exaggerate
When I say you clenched and unclenched,
As I gagged and loosened my mouth
On you, with myths and high-flying tales
Of love, and fortitude.
You have never known when waiting
Becomes a crashing glass,
A staring into space, a beautiful scar.
My nights grow in the crumbling brick walls
The chimney smoke blowing,
Dark patches in the ashen sky.
Layer upon layer, the unopened boxes
Of my taut, mellowed wants,
The pastel shades worn, bust to waist,
Waist to hip, hip to thighs and ankles
Looked at, devoured, turned away,
Stark dead, grinning,
With banana skins and muggy air.
Don’t tell me you didn’t find me
Amid the thin film of sunlight
In the dark, arid room.
I waited, customarily,
Glittering, darkening in my prayers.
Note: A poem written in the quintessential voice of a woman, reflecting on her solitary, undying spirit, and on her essence as a true giver in love. Written in February 2015.
Lopa Banerjee has recently completed her Masters with a thesis in Creative Nonfiction Writing at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She has written a book-length memoir and also a poetry collection. She is a regular contributing author to ‘Café Dissensus Everyday’, B’Khush.com, ‘Morsels and Juices’ and ‘Learning and Creativity’. Her poetry and creative nonfiction work have also appeared at print and online anthologies including ‘About Place Journal’, ‘Northeast Review’, ‘Indian Review’, ‘Prairie Fire’, ‘Fine Lines journal’, ‘River Poets’ Journal’ and ‘13th Floor Magazine’. She has also participated in the Kriti Festival of Literature and Arts in Chicago as a panelist and reader.
Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, based in New York City, USA. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.
Read the latest issues of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on Short Stories, themed around ‘Night’, edited by author, Sumana Roy.