Nights and other poems

Sahana Mukherjee

 

Nights

packed in a suitcase,

your heart turns
liminal like each
landing of a staircase
in a book

each border
you cross

to dig out

the inheritance of graves.

 

Bring me a stone

I slipped into my pocket
a maple leaf for you. It dried
up after a day of mild
rain.

I didn’t mean it to.

 

Words of a prophet

I picked up a soiled bird
feather, and the litter bin looked
straight at me:

Tonight you look like a painted rose.

 

Dicotyledon

I move from empty to where you sit.
You sit like a memory on cobblestones.

 

Flanerie beside garbage dumps

I

Tonight is a flutter
of moths gathering
around you. I
am a part-time
flaneuse. One
hour on the clock. From
the intersection
I can see volcanoes
are made of hearts.

 

II

My great-grandmother
hid guns inside
her blouse. She’d make
sure they reached
safe hands. After
her third son, she was
widowed by poetry and
her village pond.

Her world had ended
with the bang
of a door.

 

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