Erothanatos

E-ISSN 2457-0265

 

Vol. 4 Issue 3

Jagari Mukherjee

 


 

The Prelude

A Night's Conversation

 

In the dark, only the

light of your cigarette,

flashing red amidst

the blue cliches of

my melancholia.

I cling to layers

of shame in oil paint.

A glimpse of you, a poem I read…

sleepless hours tiptoe past;

you make me want to forget

the definition of rest.

 

"Let me see you once"--

your request.

Then you try:

"I can see your eyes

and a cheek."

 

I watch a shadow

in the mirror:

I wonder if you

find me beautiful.

 

 

1

The moon is a glass.

 

I place, at its bottom,

a turquoise bound in

latticed silver…

 

You tell me, Inamorato,

that promises don't

wax and wane.

 

2

The sun offers a pitcher of wine.

 

Let us drink then, Inamorato,

the new gold together.

 

 

3

My sister embroiders

blue flowers with satin leaves.

Chain stitch and lazy-daisy.

 

Teach me, I whisper to her--

in every chain

my fingers are bound in thread

where each tinted weave

on the light cotton spread

is a letter to Inamorato.

 

 

4

Pain, palliative-resistant.

 

I want to write a poem

in all its imperfections, Inamorato...

 

You slide your tongue

over the navel of your girl

with the violet scent…

 

I hold my suffering

like a cup of rain

 

or a jar of fireflies, aflame

 

 

5

New moon--

 

I search for my turquoise

in the violet of the sky

 

I am jealous

of the harmonica

touching your lips

 

and envy every girl

taken by you

 

 

6.

ON THE PHOTOS OF YOUR EXES

 

No comfort there: to think

of your memories.

I understand, of course,

that you (like me)

were once careless and young:

the taste of fresh love was

on your tongue; as lush

as a soft tamarind.

 

Yet, I must confess

a lingering sadness.

One of them had eyes

of amber flecked with gold.

The other one looked out

from her photo with her

dark green, bold jewels.

(More entrancing than mine…

I wonder…)

 

You once made love

under a computer table:

it wasn't me, and we hadn't met.

Your past was a sky of

rose and lavender.

Don't ask about me:

I wrapped my decades

in foils of drought and rains

for too long and it rotted

away like a cavernous tooth.

 

Now, in the middle years,

the pain of withering summoned;

still you play your harmonica

for me today. I am content

to name you the flesh of my flesh.

The bone of my bone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Poet

Jagari Mukherjee holds an MA in English Language and Literature from University of Pune, and was awarded a gold medal and several prizes by the University for excelling in her discipline. Her poems and other creative pieces have been published in different venues both in India and abroad. She is a Best of the Net 2018 nominee, a DAAD scholar from Technical University, Dresden, Germany, a Bear River alumna, and the winner of the Poeisis Award for Excellence in Poetry 2019, among other awards. She won the 2019 Reuel International Prize for Poetry, and the Tagore Literary Prize 2018 for Book Review. Her chapbook Between Pages was published by Cherry-House Press, Illinois, USA, in June 2019. Her book The Elegant Nobody was by Hawakal Publishers in January 2020. She has co-authored with Dr. Ampat Koshy Wine-Kissed Poems: A Set of 18 Sakhi-Sakha Duet/Dialogue Poems, published by Blue Pencil.  She is currently pursuing her PhD from Seacom Skills University, Bolpur, India. She is the Managing Editor of EKL Review.

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