By Sunandini Mukherjee
The Unwelcome Monsoon
For months I’ve seen you gathering strength
crossing boundaries, ushering hope
My friend kept scribbling behind her unkempt locks.
You knew her to be one of the morning ragas.
Your girl too, travelled to stormy beaches
Collected pebbles to write to you.
Little by little, the choppy chasms you put to rest.
And when you did, rain washed away her ashed window-sill.
Sleep today, if you please, the south-westerlies.
Lines on remembering a deceased
I often thought of you, the sandaled warmth of your embrace
Into that cool night.
And saw a few acres of paddy frozen in darkness.
The sky was never more lit
It reminded me of the solitary akashprodip Ma hoisted every autumn.
It will be for you this time, Thamma
And all those silences too, when I strolled on the midnight wet grass by a pond
And on the morning when crickets chirped no more; the stars disappeared, one by one.
Round yon Virgin mother and child
I wake up the night that sees twenty people getting stripped and beaten up:
their bare bodies a canvas of scars that I have lovingly inscribed.
Fifty yards from here.
A boy scolds his howling stomach, walks an ash-smeared terrace.
Dizziness gradually silences his stale conscience.
In a short while I shall help him make gunpowder,
and with a lingering kiss lull him to peace.
On the canopied path, a dustman wipes blood off the cobbled street.
My comrades in pursuit of peace do not know yet –
it is my hands that have handed him a dagger and then a broomstick.
One of them talks nonsense while I pull his dry lips to my bosom;
it takes me just a few seconds to drug his nerve.
Once each one is asleep I will need to go back. My child waits for food!
She is just a few weeks old, still breastfeeding.
I needn’t hurry. The milk will still be poisoned when she tastes it.
To my darker self
Then the soft bullets pierce the sky
and the red horizon looks down upon the valley of dead.
I still walk the cobbled street with your invisible finger locking my throat.
Trickle of blood.
Every time I look back, shacks of severed heads molest me.
Between the forceful penetration of whispers,
I read what you threw into ashes.
My first wet body.
You must bear the cross to the edge of nudity
or pull out faded memories from catalogued teardrops.
You shall finally hear among dead limbs, scattered
Sunandini Mukherjee is a 3rd year undergraduate student at the Department of English, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She is passionate about writing. Sunandini writes in English and Bengali.
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