Note: My small tribute to Kamala Das/ Suraiyya/ Madhavikutty, the phenomenal poet and author, and her indomitable persona as a woman and her relationship with the men in her life reflected in her fiery poetry, a prompt initiated by Dr. Ampat Koshy, founder of the Facebook literature group The Significant League (TSL).
A story of fissures and chipped paints,
A story of the summer wind and the frail orchid,
A story of wobbly footsteps, muffled voices
And the coming of a mad, gusty rain.
A story of fresh, dew-drenched petals crushed
In a black, sultry, screeching night is mine.
A story of a tawny sun and a fistful of sand
In each spot that you touched me,
Wild, moaning, is mine.
You were gone, with each stroke,
Slicing through the skin of my trembling wants,
When I was harvested again, and again, and again,
As I groped in the lone desert
For traces of you, you were gone,
When my bruises and crimson blood adorned me
And all I longed for was a smudge of your embrace,
Slamming your door-frame with my calloused fists,
My darkened home, my withering circle of light.
Threadbare, running around the crumbling staircase of my dreams,
Recoiling in the burning coals and the fire of of my trajectory,
You know my tale so well,
As you had predicted my fleeting moment of ascent
And my long, endless descent
Long back, looking at the crushed pleats of my maiden clothing.
My story is still carved against my skin, I know
it is a bit more insolent and forbidden
Than you had ever gauged, it would be.
In a pool of my lingering rhythms, I wade through,
A terrain that you have penetrated
Came out in short spasms, and never knew
I could invade the space like a fallen queen.
A story of babies nursling and trampled embryos,
A story of a sagging belly and countless fallen stars are mine
As I write these lovelorn songs, hungering, staying put, trailing on.
All Rights Reserved. Lopa Banerjee. April 5, 2017