For Tina and Ra
There are quite a few miles that crevice you from home,
Like the zip of your suitcase that flies between hope and not-hope.
I can only imagine how the fridge door must be slamming, unlike the one back here—
Extended supplies shunting faster than Turner’s baby,
The one that cries but never comes.
Do you wake each day to a finite line
And trace back the rhino’s trail
You had smiled about the other day?
Does Bishop speak clearer now
And blur your vocabulary?
I am afraid I will forget your smiling hair
And the exact shade of your red lipstick
(The traces are already starting to drift).
Lie to me when I ask about happiness
Or perhaps halt the track of my question
(‘Are you home yet?’)
With a whistle or a red flag,
For then I can at least begin to unmemorise
Your face greeting me in some departure lounge.
Jayati Das is a research scholar from Tezpur University, India, and holds a Master’s degrees in English Literature frotm the University of Delhi. Her areas of research include representations of the Vietnam War, masculinity studies, and queer cinema. She has won over a dozen prizes in creative writing at the college and university levels. Several of her poems and stories have been published in The Assam Tribune, The Sentinel, and e-magazines like The Golden Line, including a story in an anthology titled DU Love. Her published research includes essays on the Mizo poet, Mona Zote, race in Othello, and on Pedro Almodóvar’s cinema.
This poem is from South Broadway Press’ new anthology,
Dwell: Poems About Home. Purchase here.