» Poetry

Two Poems

Once when I was eight

and my sister seven, tensions boiled over

 in a game of hide & seek

& I slapped her. Thwack.

 Her head shook while streams on her cheek

loamed into deepening red.

 She didn’t talk to me for a week.

No chocolates, no sorry, no nothing.

 I even did her homework for a day. Still nothing.

She finally spoke when she found me

 crying in a corner after India had lost a cricket match.

Today, years later she isn’t picking up my calls

 & I’m here wondering if she’s busy

or simply pissed with me.

 I haven’t seen her in long & in this hour of prolonged dusk,

I’m trying to summon facts on her.

 But as I pace on my balcony, phone in hand,

watched by a sun rasping blood across a browning sky

 all I gather is the colour of her slapped cheek.

And how on reconciliation after a week, she had said

 I just wanted to see you cry.


Sambar on my shoes

I spot you in the cafeteria sitting with a faceless stranger

while I await my dosa at the desolate counter

you sip what seems like watermelon juice although

I’m sure my blood is just as gruesome and thick

that must be how your cheeks are so red and faint

like blushes of sky at dawn attracting birds of fury

and strangeness unknown I see some wrens beak you playfully

the crimson spreads through your neck like a field of clover

the stranger inundated with anticipation he crosses his legs

underneath the table when you let out a laugh

I head back to work my appetite punctured my spirit flensed

my dosa tray trembles in the tremors of discovery

buried fears don’t nibble they swallow

I try to tell myself it was probably someone else

but I find incriminating evidence when my colleague points out

continents of sambar on my white converse shoes


Satya Dash

Satya Dash's recent poems have been published or are forthcoming in The Magnolia Review, Prelude, New Mexico Review, Porridge, and Barren Magazine. He has been a cricket commentator, dabbled with short fiction, and has a degree in electronics from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) at Goa. He lives in Bangalore, India, and recites his poetry in the city's cafes. He tweets at satya043.