Volume 4 Issue 2, June 2020
Special Issue for Indian Poetry
It Was Four
It was four in the clock and dying past in the mind.
The cars on wheels, the moving feet, the chirping winds
They cut across my face
And I see an abstraction on the wall that they sold for ravaging bucks.
I started homeward with the limbs that poked fun
At the history of sexuality.
I wondered it was four in the clock.
The gates took me to my school, last apartment and my grandma's place
(Places that usually come to life in sleep)
And got my present long forgotten.
I built that lego house and crawled benches
To find death and the boy smiling at me.
I still wonder if it was 4 in the clock.
I reached home meeting death
And divulged thin secrets in crisp papers on sale.
They couldn't have been mine
(For I was naked the entire time)
And mother said I was losing my teeth.
It never ends. It is still on.
And I wonder if it was four in the mind.
Every spring I see an act of love that carries some soul in it.
They play instruments every evening promising doubts and wreckage.
I become a puppet. They are the makers.
Real handlers. The noise is scattered and beautiful
And vague and unique.
They overlap, create sandcastles in the air.
I sit my eyes closed. The tune makes a few touches.
Every soul is fit to sit, no tickets.
They play instruments even now. They repeat.
And sit. The souls outnumber
In a club of slumber. The day ends and
We remain puppets.
January breeds discontent again.
I feel stiff, my shoulders are cranky.
Rains have settled for good.
I see traffic lights murmuring in the wind
And longing to get a hold on to a switch.
They flicker, come to rest,
And again shine bright.
That grey street is backlogged
With unheard horns
Too loud, too cowed
And in grids.
I see the world in grids now, boxed grimaces
That you occasionally display
And appear acceptable.
I do not care less or more
Yet to score a 100 lows.
I cringe at an eye, a mind or a fly
For January breeds discontent,
I feel stiff and shoulders cry
A yard to lie.
The day was 15th of April and the night amongst the unknowns
Love making has been an art taught
At schools of decrepitude
Where classes have more doubts than answers
To pacify the ever-opulent series of duels.
I was reading Cavafy to you and the passage turned Greek to the night's eyes.
The coffee was nearby, the wicker chairs had
But a bird's eye
And you penetrated to create a space within me
That still belongs to the sharpness of tongue and the heat of quilts.
The day was 15th of April and the night remained an unknown guide
As we caressed the nerves and it shrieked with morning's fear.
The art we drew, and recited and copied
Was inside a phone booth, red and checkered
And nobody cracked a word, like a browning wound
And lights murmuring in the distance, our
Cups cold and wet, bled indifference
Upon the poet's eye.
I need to know you, still.
About the poet
Pragati Gupta is an assistant professor in English at Techno India University, WB. Besides being an avid reader, she nurtures a passion for reading, writing and living poetry. Her poems have appeared in various online and offline magazines and blogs. Collections like The Betrayal, Cologne of Heritage: Incredible Bengal have housed her poems. She participated in various poetry-reading sessions and slams as and when they happen.