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Harleen Kaur, Proiti Seal Acharya

May 18

Piece by Proiti Seal Acharya. Image titled “Wanderlust” by Harleen Kaur.

Calamity resides in calmness-

My childhood bedsheets,

Cartoon in their belligerent insistence

On the necessities of happiness

Appear as grotesques honesties

In the middle of my night

While I try to operate within reason

And the ecstasies of fleshly solitude-

I negotiate with calamity

As it rests its feet on my arched back

Hoping to sting me

At the base of my spine

So that I may buckle at the sight

Of hope in its precocious performance.

Assessing the longevity

Of my skin, the silent curtain,

The roughened apron over

This mortal sludge-

Calamity infiltrates the prisons

Engineered in my brain

By memory’s greatest weapon- words.

Calamity parses the sentences,

Dream after dream I writhe-

Only to find, in the greyish light of early dawn,

The parts of speech hanging limp

At the edge of an eternal crevice-

My mouth as it was in yours.