• Handkerchief of Leather

    (After Sakku Bai's blistered foot)

    Susmit Panda

    April 24, 2018

    Image Courtesy: AIKS

    Blistered, beaten, Kali's foot, brute, staring

    at the ascetic's crescent tongue

    The Ganges shrunken to a pale comb of water

    while the petals of ash huddle to form

                                         a face

    Blistered, beaten, Kali's foot, brute, staring

    at the ascetic's crescent tongue skiddy as ever

    beneath the enamel vigil of truth- 

                                         Truth?

    Which is which? Each to his own! There in the dust

    the abandoned skin, handkerchief of leather,

    twitches in the wind, says:

                                          Wipe

    the licit bead! Gather your ghosts to pore

    over neither bread nor death by bread,

    but a bacchanalian ode to the road,

                                        O you,

    who are made between black and black!


     

    Susmit Panda is a student at Netaji Subhas Engineering College, Kolkata.

    Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.