The Day Before, The Morning After; A Division with a Remainder; A Shape of Water; Flight

The Day Before			

I very well remember 
when my sky-blue shirt
got its first big tear 
and started its career
as my new rag.

I don’t remember the days
when it wiped my floor
by daylight
and crouched like a mouse
at night
in a dark little alcove
behind the door
shut tight.

I still remember its colour 
pale from sky-blue to bone-white
its body lose my shape
its knitting thin till the floor could be seen
through its boneless skin.

I do not remember the day it vanished	
but clearly remember the day before – my sky-blue shirt
while trying to clean
was dirtying my floor.
The Morning After 		

My father likes his rice boiled hard.
At dinner, he picks up his steel plate
drops a grain and strains his ear
to listen to a soft thud.
If he hears, he smiles. Otherwise
he gets up, washes his fingers
and goes off to sleep.

In winter, before the sun is up,
before the first sparrow chirps
through our paling ventilator, 
after the dew have stopped dropping
from the grooves in our tin roof 
to their graves in the moist earth,

the iron gate creaks in the dark dawn breeze
and I hear, ‘Ma is nowhere. Daddy,
ma is nowhere.’ 
A Division with a Remainder

In my quest for an escape
I was inspired by an amoeba
which does not die but at death
divides itself and vanishes
in two new amoebas.

Then I saw a baby die
and the mother hold her womb and cry
and realized – deaths 
like births are goodbyes,
births like deaths are escapes,

pain though
has no place to go
so, it remains 
with the remainders.
A Shape of Water	

Like the soft
brown stalk
of the arum 

filled with sap
from the puddle 
beneath its feet

by a single

on its only

my body 
is a shape 

tears and blood

Some flies
on the rim
of the bowl 
and eat

on the food
while eating

scoop down
smear soup
on their wings
and lick
what sticks.

Some soups need
the drinker
to sink.

Some flies 
like Christ
on soups with nimble feet.


Kingshuk Sarkar’s poems have appeared in ‘Palette Poetry’, ‘Stringtown Magazine’ and ‘Northwest Boulevard’ and translations (from Bengali to English) have appeared in ‘Circumference’, ‘Exchanges’, ‘Visions International’, ‘Kritya’, ‘The Antonym Magazine’, and is forthcoming in ‘Modern Poetry in Translation’. Kingshuk Sarkar lives Kolkata, India.