Poetry: Kushal Poddar

Kushal Poddar
In Duotone

I watch a social influencer 
preaching, "Do not wear
black, the colour of rejection."

My father's black won my mother.
She was proud of my light skin,
but then again, she 
loved beaches, hated water.

My skin is so light that it flies 
around in the kitchen sometimes.
My pungent substance makes all cry.
Somedays one cannot embrace rejection.
***

Formulation of An Amber

Mind leaves the body of mine
asleep, askew in the passenger seat.
Its drone eyes watch us go nowhere.

Our moveable stillness, a night car
on the bridge awash in yellow light,
an insect caught in ancient amber,
listens to the rain, those toneless beats
on the metal and on the concrete.

My flesh against the glass feels 
a mountain-range of cold. It sings 
a long refrain and a hiss. Come back, mind.
Didn't we go to the mountains? 
Yesterday? Last month? Eons ago?
Were you someone else? 

My father's copper flask altered the taste.
My mother hated him for that.
I should never have stirred 
a sleeping driver. The roads were thin
as attention and wide as fancy.
***


A Feral Recipe 

I invented this recipe
and let it drown in my memory.
I try to find that taste and
smell pinch by pinch,
doubt my tongue and nostrils.

Emptiness sticks to the pan.
On the cold slab runs its life blood;
its fallen scales sends 
distress signal from our old rag.
And my kitchen solo echoes
in the house-auditorium.
Don't I deserve your cheers?

I know what you would have said.
I know you cannot.
The absence my memory blocked
sabotages my remembrance.
I cook a placebo for my appetite.
The shadows devour the wall inch by inch.
***


The News of The War Slips to The 4th Page

Tim says, "Once in five 
years we open the bids 
for the country's governance,
replace one set of deceits
with another. We cannot help it.
Civilization institutionalised corruption."

I laugh, always do. All words feel 
half absurd, half romantic. 
No side is mine these days - Tim's 
or of our opposing friend.

The newspaper falls through my fingers.
Pages fly. Their eagles' eyes see -
a canine fight breaks out
for the right of the sunlight.

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