Sreetanwi Chakraborty
The Giant Wheel 

They say the potential lady warrior on the billboard 
built the giant wheel 
to take us to London. 
Her smile is infectious, she moves the wheel
with almond-milk fingers, lacquered, 
manicured nails that showcase
dreams of the sky and orchid patchworks on frozen toe.
Children of cannibal father’s queue near the wheel 
to sing songs of broken cabins 
and gondolas with azure tattoos on the oar.
The giant wheel faces the tarpaulined cityscape 
pregnant with letters from unwed mothers of the war.
The children ascend the giant wheel 
of the Pushya nakshatra
As the warrior lady scoops out
Belladonna pods from the crevices of the amorphous soil. 

Days when you stopped calling

Words, phrases, sound of unspoken healing 
and termite-eaten mania of the sultry days 
healed me to consciousness. 
You were not there, you never were. 
You were the Buddha, Sujata’s Amitabha, 
hymnal chants orchestrating into my ashen body,
camouflaging tears on my altar
burnt-out camphor and incense sticks 
bought from the North-Kolkata dashakarma shop.
Evenings when you stopped calling, 
froze into a masquerade.
you smiled invisibly,
With an arsenal under your oversized cloak
and a cobra on a magnetic field 

Sreetanwi Chakraborty is an Assistant Professor in Amity Institute of English Studies and
Research, Amity University Kolkata. She is also the chief editor of a bilingual, biannual journal
Litinfinite. Her works have also been published in Ekdin, Uttarer Saradin, Setumag, Dainik Gati, The Darjeeling Chronicle, Darjeeling Times, POL, The Dhaka Review, The Dhaka Tribune, Outlook India, The Times of India, The Daily Bhorer Alo (Bangladesh), Muse India, Kochi Post, Kavya Bharat. She has been a poet and session moderator at the Chandrabhaga Poetry Festival. Her book The Sleeping Beauty Wakes Up: A Feminist Interpretation of Fairy Tales received the ‘Rising Star’ non-fiction award in New Town book fair in 2019. She has two sole poetry books 
Her latest work is ‘Rhododendrons’, a novella. One of her paintings has been selected by Sahitya Akademi as the cover design for Prachi

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