Disinfectants swell the air
The plastic blinds shiver
From the hospice window
I watch the hours~
Coming home, going away,
A child on a creaking swing
Flying high, giggles, bubbles,
Hitting hard on her forehead
Eight stitches! All so sudden.
Pain is a bedside lamp
It blinks like a jackal’s eyes
from the night bushes.
Now that I like rice noodles
in gluten free soya sauce,
it isn’t easy to sip milk tea,
to forget Amélie Poulain,
to delete from Prime playlist
that Irish band of the seventies,
The yellow leaves of ‘petty quarrels’
lay strewn on my morphined slumber
With a swipe on our WhatsApp chat,
why do you (re)collect them
when nobody’s around?
Not an eye for an eye,
but, a grove of palm trees
bracing the silver mirage
to recall what happened between us
A speck was it or was it the cricket-calling moon
we viewed from the bivouac of imagined love?
Our shadows spoke their own tongue.
You clicked on the ‘skip’ option.
The night froze into a macular dot.
Pain hardened here and there
on the igneous slopes
like clots of blood in the murder spot,
like dewdrops on the rowdy splinters
The winter arrived and departed
the brown crust fell off the wound.
I saw you anew:
A healed scar you are,
an indelible white on my dark skin
(Shyamasri Maji teaches English at Durgapur Women’s College in Durgapur, West Bengal. She writes short stories and poems in English, some of which have been published in Muse India, Six Seasons Review, Story Mirror, Setu, Kolkata Fusion, Café Dissensus, Indian Periodical, Borderless, The Chakkar, Teesta Review, Dead Metaphor, Outlook India and Modern Literature. She has read her poems at Anantha-Samyukta Poetry Festival and ‘Humara Mushaira’ of South Asian Literary Association. Her book reviews have been published in Kitaab, Outlook India and Asian Review of Books. )