Song of the Road

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Image source: wallpaperswide.com

My legs dangle in the car
In the seat, I settle, awkward
The jagged outlines of
the interstate and the green
On both sides lighting up
Like tattoos.
Bollywood Hindi refrains
Gyrating, recycled, served up
Like frothy, milky chai
in old, verdant train stations
remembered with a child’s eagerness.
In our mouths, between
Our silences outstretched
And our tongues sticking out
Parched, tame, scanning
The flatlands and the ripples
We seek out our
love song for the road,
The tangy and sour essence
of the small towns
That ebb and flow with
the shrill rain,
the murky flood waters,
The turmeric-stained sunlight
That we taste, bubbling,
resting on our backs.
The tires push down the
Buttery roads and I am
Wrapped in the childhood raincoat
Where the playlist
of the songs become
Promises, vows, stillness grasped.
In the mirror, strands of hair
Dance to the orchestra
Like pesky birds,
Grey, trampled, bronzed
With colors, behind a veil
Of shrinking, errant drapes.
The wind and the light outside
A thin stick of pungent smoke
I inhale like a stealthy lover
On our way back home.
Soon the roads, robust
Against our limp bodies
Will bend and waltz,
Tweak and twirl, to
the stairs leading home.
In the brown, saucy night sky
Our road songs,
ingrained, left behind,
will jump, float away
in scattered lines.

Lopa Banerjee. All Rights Reserved. May 30, 2015
Note: Written while returning from a long distance trip by car on route Texas gulf coast to the plains of Nebraska, US.

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Silent Partners: Fleshless Solitude

 

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‘Solitude’. Picture courtesy: battlefield.wikia.com

 

Note for the readers: This is a poem I had written nearly 14 years back, with a young, unrestrained mind. Fresh from the University, my head was brimming with poetic lines, and the emotions were delicate, honest, but raw, unbridled and devoid of precision. I remember I had put a lot of long elipses, periods and also long hyphens in between the lines, and looking at them now, I thought them awkward and odd. With a little bit of editing, this is what the poem looks like in its present state. 

 

Midnight and myself, two silent partners speaking to each other,
Clutching at each other in sensuous extremity.

One says another: “How do we speak out, each time, in silent warmth?” 

The other hisses, ”In keen memory, we have stored our silences like mistresses! 
We adore them in shady depths of secrecy.

They never ask for 

Lucid exclusiveness of speech.” 

A knock on the door, Secrets enter. undress quietly before the mirror 

Of time, or…infinitude…

The skull contains them all,
Love lost in crooked, restless flight
Flesh and bone struggling with myths of light.
The inner and outer storms migrated to suppression,

In the “living” without “life”!

And now, they fill the room with voices and presence, 
None can see, nor hear at all.

With wordless mouths, then, let us plunge into unspeakable depths
Never explored by spoken truths, or spoken impostures.
Let us write, with inkless pens, the wordless history 
Of strained breasts and crisped fingers: 

Midnight and Myself,
Two silent partners will carry 
Secret breaths and unspoken histories 
To the fleshless depths of solitude.

Silence, we have the key to unlock thy gates,
Now, let us plunge into thee.