The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Two Poems

By Lopa Banerjee

The Dead Girl Spells Love

In the shivering abyss of your chest, do I sense love purring?
Or say, even if not the soft, cushion-like, petal-like bloom,
Won’t you say I still dare to love?

For years, you have chased me away from your luscious foothills.
The camphor of your lips, an unnerving music,
Doomed me, unawares, like there was always this washing
and purging ritual, freshening me for rain.

Or say, I have tagged along, from mad refrain to dying,
As I whisk myself, twirling, swirling in your remnants,
A rhyme gone awry, an unavoidable catastrophe.

Is it my simmering, perfumed breasts that you still seek?
The cold, wind-gagging day, like birth pangs,
eats on my rusty folds. Tearing off my frostbitten voice.

Ah yes, yet I am there as the wind chime sways, nonchalant
while you shrug, the winter morning galloped far away
from the ruins of love. A house, a bed that remains
smelling of flesh, burnt out songs, wrinkles of coital nights.
Yes, the splinters and cracks of love,
Pushing a tear-stained face, birth marks into the pillow.

One last chance at love, I am the pale, dead girl, my coffin
digging the crevices of the kohl-laden night.

***

Deja vu

You and I have travelled that rugged soil before,
Look how its nameless rocks beckon us.
The streets, like molten lava, the harvest moon
Bleeding, the chipped edges calling out our names.

You and me have drifted, swallowed our distances
of several different births. Had this land devoured us
When we dipped our rusty nails in waxy sands?
Look how we resurface, our unfinished story ablaze in the land.

Look, how the lamp still burns, I encase your warmth, flickering.
I track your musky breath in the city’s labyrinth.
The sepia temple echoes my grief in crushed ashes.
The vermilion, smudged, straining, awaits our hushed voices.

Look how the sand stones carve our last, intertwined breaths.
Look how the ruptured skins of our memories
dance, splutter around the wet, rainy fields.
Do you see those kohl-rimmed teardrops, pirouetting in the rain?

Do you see the jagged edges of the river banks where we slept?
Your silver touch, licking my dark spots, my sun-kissed orchard?
Look how the river song seeks us again, surreptitious, vicarious,
Come, let us hold hands and plunge, nude, surrendering.

Painting: Dan Bunea

Bio:
Lopa Banerjee
is a writer and poet. She is also an editor at Readomania and Learning and Creativity Journal.

***

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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 issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on ‘Bollywood Nationalism’, edited by Dr. Roshni Sengupta, Leiden University, The Netherlands.

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