Culture & Society

The Morning Is Today: A Sestina

A poem about letters and love enduring through chaos and clots

Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
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The postman brought all messages these days with a clot.

I waited long at my window thinking: really, but really?

Wasn't it always some sort of a premonition of a strange mixing

of the heart's ache with our blood's tone eternally lilting and dulcet?

So, I open each packet carefully wrapped, imagining if it's another trick:

Shahid's country dwells in love but any moment there can be bad cess.

Once it falls apart we know, once there is a deep wide cess-

pool where ideas drown, the letters will lose crispness, turn a clot.

Who shall we write to of our despair and hurt? For my heart plays a trick

to convince me that Baramullah and Barpeta are the same, really.

The lanes from where you wave. Then all that remains is a dull and dulcet

ring of longing. Will I see you tonight on my screen, our tears mixing?

But the Internet is down and out, you say, tears and words mixing,

and we count hours. We think of the sky, that wide berth sans any cess.

Thankful that there's love in the little stamps-book we have, all dulcet

and heady with memory. We still can send letters, in our hearts' clot

where our pen dip. It's still Faiz's dream morning, not night really,

you say. Oh yes, I know, my beloved! Just democracy playing a trick!

While we discuss dream and delirium we now don't call it a trick.

Have you seen the newspaper this morning, I want to say, mixing

some caution because we want to cling close to love and light really,

gilted flush of seas, new leaves, summer mangoes – none with a cess.

All lush with our desire, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, a lull and a clot

so sweetly lumped in our days. Even sounds of police sirens seem dulcet!

Today, just today is our time. Our time to sing loud and set that dulcet

tone: Mujhse pehli see muhabbat mere mehboob na mang! Smash all trick-

sters in their face, wring out all pain, the combat boots, nurse the wound clot

and bring home the real and the virtual, the letters and kisses all mixing.

Do we care, do we really care if the state will clamp on happiness, put a cess,

steal our hard-earned money, shut our women in, kill all men? Do we, really?

Then come now, look how the stars shine on and be thankful really.

In the blinking blue of the screen, your face, the memory of your dulcet

voice that the ether carries singing the Jamaica Farewell. No cess

on our demands, dreams and destinations. We'll unravel all sordid trick

from Kokrajhar to Konkan, the ballots and the pellets. No, no mixing

our sorrow with the lightstruck love we've caught with our passion's clot.

The letters are on their way, signed with our blood's clot,

the horizon is rising ahead with summer swans heady with mixing

the wine of sun and our flight. Ours the magic wand, the winning trick.

First published by Haoajan webzine

Nabina Das is a poet and writer.

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