* * *
After an afternoon of sullen grump
and frown lines—swift and heavy,
resembling a cut, deeper for its unchartedness,
to listen to the avian row of a flowering, familiar sunset.
A flushed streak cuts across the sky like a gash,
flightily becomes the scarlet of laal-dawai
tending to the belly of the beast.
I see red—
of the plans for that afternoon that I had had since ages.
It was laced in purple,
scribbled in black,
impelling the sides of sweated time,
now swallowing the wilt of a calendar—
In a war that never ends,
The Khue-Reyen sends home-sick soldiers into a frenzy of sticky nostalgia—
a Swiss milking song, infectious, punishable by death.
Caring for no dignity,
summoning the bloody mercenaries, it says—“Don’t die.
Not for this.”
The song culls the Alpen wild from the trenches;
A thought crime, coaxing—“Look, even the birds return
someplace and we call it home.
All impossible worlds begin with the word. Say it.”
I look at the Old World sparrows,
busily making way towards their home I conjured up,
All this while,
I was meaning to love.
laal-dawai : The common Hindi nomenclature for Potassium permanganate; often used as a skin disinfectant.
Dipanjali Singh is currently pursuing her Masters degree in English from University of Delhi, India. Recommends Eunice D’Souza to all.
featured photo courtesy of the author