Basudhara Roy (Colours of Love and Barriers)

Basundhara Roy
Basudhara Roy teaches English at Karim City College affiliated to Kolhan University, Chaibasa. She is the author of three collections of poems, her latest work being featured in EPW, Pine Cone Review, EKL Review, The Woman Inc., Live Wire, Madras Courier, Berfrois and Yearbook of Indian English Poetry 2020-21, among others. Shortlisted for the Deepankar Khiwani Memorial Prize 2022, Basudhara loves, rebels, writes and reviews from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India.

Clandestine

At the appointed hour, 
the muezzin summons me to prayer.
My heart is a flickering flame
that feverishly writes your name
on the evening's grey slate.

Between us this dark is a foundling.
Unsure to whom it belongs,
we look for a way to own it together.
It sits in the park near a fountain
teaching the water to mirror nothing.

At the doorway of your house, you tell me
you are alone. Inside, all I touch becomes
a song. I want to finger your bones,
hair, nails, offer you the alluvium
of my pelvis to plant a dream.

In your kingdom of want,
I yearn to break into fire this night
and birth an epic in a hundred flames.
In the mirror of your eyes, 
I see someone else and return.

Fire, they say, never keeps faith.
Its promise of light always arrives
at the cost of something and each time 
it leaves behind a grave to unpack 
and negotiate for a lifetime.

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