The sky azure is transformed; masked, distanced, hushed
it feels like a faraway place, a half-forgotten memory
into the time zone.

Days are mundane, full of daily rituals
filter into rooms,
it smells- over-boiled coffee, fabrics
stranger’s perfume- short stay, short smile, short humour.

The low hum of conversations trails rusted words
along the road’s long stretch, and the whirring ceiling fan
is always curious to defeat silence.

It is the realm of confinement, of surreal portrayal
within the rustle of thin yet recurring episodes
rolling like sheets of paper.

The images fill up the solitude with repeat marks and scratches.

Gopal Lahiri is a bilingual poet, critic, editor, writer and translator with 29 books published, including eight solo/jointly edited books. His poetry and prose are published across more than seventy journals and anthologies globally. His poems are translated in 16 languages. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prize for poetry in 2021. He has received Setu Excellence Award, Pittsburgh, US, in poetry. He is the first recipient of. Jayanta Mahapatra National Award for Literature, 2024. Read other articles by Gopal.