Culture & Society

Poems: ‘Joy Knocks At My Door’ And ‘My Therapist Laughs off My 2-Week Affair’

Here are two poems by Kinshuk Gupta.


Photo: Getty Images

Joy Knocks at My Door

(– for S)

Leaving the taste of smoke on my tongue.

My body a ripe rasbhari, a mini sun hanging

from the branch, poked by a hummingbird. 

And then it is gone. The night dies premature. 

I’m lying in the middle of the room, my chest a can 

of coke that has lost its fizz, mistaking my shadow

for your body, the thick roll of blanket 

for your head. Nothing remains. Not even

my memory of you is transparent  

like this day—the ear nodule, the poodle paw

nose, your expressions shifting

like a mime artist. Now I know what it meant: 


reclining on the bonnet, gazing at the birds 

flying away from the crisscrossed world.

Why do the lovers of your dream hold 

hands & desperately want to be flamingoes. 

Now I know that you wanted our love 

to be a passage into that world, the other world,

the world that exists in a mirror. 

I smell too much of this world, don't I? 

My Therapist Laughs off My 2-Week Affair

Then what about the galouti kabab

dissolving on my salivating tongue?

Or the swiftness of a room lighting up 

when the flame licks the head of a match. 

Move on, she says. The symptom of love 


lies in its obsession. That your life's screen

-saver becomes that man's square jaw, fern fingers,

the way he vapes and pronounces Def. Col.

I flaunt how much I know him: 34, agnostic,

diabetic, scientist-cum-lawyer. Has five friends,

two bosses, one ex. Fancies Murakami

in books, Old Monk in booze, bears in bed. 

Doesn’t prefer twinks, caramelized onions, 

or people who behave like soda fizz on first dates. 

I’m tired of matching all the pointers

from a Youtube video Sachche Pyar ke Lakshan,

reading Barthes and Hooks,

writing poems in a feverish haze

to know my love too was grand 

like an elephant’s tusk. 




Don't tell me 

to move on. 

Don't tell me 

that love

is a function of time.