everything falls away
the vultures swarm the sky
I stand alone
my bones beyond my flesh,
boxed in the cages.
and all
that is left is me.


water takes away pain,
I don’t want to be
hunted flesh anymore, moist
in the saliva of others:
and now wait under the blazing sun
until my skin blackens
like the molten lavas.

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.