Poetry | Debarshi Mitra | Part 2

Credits: Samantha Keely Smith


It seems at this time of the night,
I could bring my neighborhood to a standstill
just by wishing if it were so. Only the street lamps
flicker in nervous anticipation and precisely
at the designated corner, the night watchman
holds up his unfinished cigarette 
and sucks time into his lungs. The windows
remain shut, all stray dogs occupy their respective
places in the universe.  Not a leaf dares to quiver.
Even the shadow of the thought of you in my bed
refuses to leave. 


The dream 
has always been this:
by the window 
a steaming cup of coffee,
the warm glow of the fireplace 
opposite the couch ,
an unread book of poems too
on the table beside and
your silhouette
on the opposite wall
leaning against mine.


I used to wear it on my head like a crown
when we went to my father’s ancestral home
on some Sundays, the railways leaping in time
several centuries
taking us away from the city and to that other world
where concrete was sparse and the pale yellow of disease
left its unrelenting trace everywhere. Growing up in the city
there was little congruence I could find there.
Inside the house, surrounded by other relatives, sometimes
my ( now dead) diabetic aunt would drag her body across 
the hall to pick up a fruit kept on the table, 
her eyes gleaming while she looked directly 
at me and asked, “ What do you call this 
in English?”

On a rain drenched morning

The skies are grey,
the room damp 
from last night’s rain
and this moss grown house
once again succumbs to memory.

I open the front door 
pick up the wet newspaper
while a sudden gust of wind
slips in quietly
like an absent traveller.

Three things

The sound 
of a raindrop
striking glass.

A single feather
on a leaf.

A shadow treading
on the surface
of memory.

Between the Lines

between the lines
is a practised art.
In every word
I write to you
watch if you will,
the pale,
imperceptible shadow
of death itself.

Read Part 1 of Debarshi's poems here

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