Oblong

I don’t ask you even for a string, for a chord,
—the sky is now in prisoner’s uniform.

For caresses you turn to the rain
to its grapey touch on the rim of the glass.

You fall into a dream, the music beginning to roll
in low and then in high notes.

From this fortified apartment
I watch stern faces darkening with the clouds,
ancestors from the jumper’s threads.

I cling to the old memories
no name, no strand, no grave
and add to that no sound.

The unknown galaxies are blooming on the balcony
and stitching stars, planets and milky ways.

How slow life seems to me in its weary flow
while underneath my footprints paint a new oblong
to my unspoken words, then through, then elsewhere.

Gopal Lahiri is a bilingual poet, critic, editor, writer and translator with 24 books published, including five jointly edited books. His poetry is also published across various anthologies as well as in eminent journals of India and abroad. His poems are translated in 16 languages. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prize for poetry in 2021. Read other articles by Gopal.