By Gopal Lahiri
Yellow blossoms spread over the green canopy,
Kiss death on the mouth.
Nature redrafts the sameness.
Beautiful days, shining nights are buried
in the mass graves.
Blank faces are chasing the invoice of the bodies.
In half-dream absence counts,
sidewalks and alleys are inundated
by condolence tweets and texts.
Facts, tales, songs, speeches roll into a malware
foaming waves roll down the lower depths.
Stars wave across the sky to one another
with a blend of longing and eye-rolling
Lampposts are leaning over to announce,
‘Hey, put on your mask’ – so aware of what is coming.
The city looks grim, wet and miserable,
somewhere… the left-over voices refresh truth.
Sometimes the paws of sunlight enfold the landscape
its searching quivers behind the brutal tenderness,
the space we occupy dilates briefly, then disappears –
the distant stars melt away the miles between us,
internet surfing continues day and night in lockdown
doomsday scrolling murmurs like a wound,
suspended animation stretches on coffee-stained puddles
blissful minutes tremor behind the screen,
death hustles down alleys, up narrow stairways
bodies are frozen solid, dark are those sorrows,
hotspots are out on the street, knocking dozens of doors,
world is tumbling into a new epoch,
dreams sleep on the caregivers’ palms,
of its pondering to flatten the proverbial curve.
Gopal Lahiri is a Kolkata-based bilingual poet, critic, editor, writer and translator with 20 books published mostly in English and a few in Bengali, including three joint books. His poetry has been published in twelve countries and translated in nine languages. Twitter: @gopallahiri
Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, based in New York City and India. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.
Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine, “Poetics and politics of the ‘everyday’: Engaging with India’s northeast”, edited by Bhumika R, IIT Jammu and Suranjana Choudhury, NEHU, India.