Over the Phone

by Saikat Das

Saikat Das’ poem is an intimate monologue of a husband who tries to win back his estranged wife and discovers the love that still flows underneath the rocky texture of their mutual distrust. It is an invitation to rediscover the world of romance that lay buried in the power play of conjugal discourse.

There isn’t much to say
No, I won’t keep
The phone away

Stay on the line

And listen
To the void
That connects

Without a fuss

You are still there
On the other end of the line
Wanting me to break the ice

But I am fine not talking

No, I am not joking
Fine that I don’t feel the difference
Fine that I can carry on

Without raising my voice

Well, you may be sobbing
That’s how it turns out
After the steam runs out

After the highs and the lows

No, I shall not play the clown
Nor walk the tight rope
With a secret frown

Played that game all too long

Now I am just a pause
Sort of a comma,
Close to a full stop

Just leave me my wings

I won’t fly
I won’t give
Even a try

Will hang on

You may go on playing
The snake-charmer’s flute
But the snake shan’t raise its hood

It’s not dead, just not in mood

You need badly
A mouthful of air
So, come dear,

Come closer to my ear

No, there’s nothing to say
No more games to play
We are, where we were

Only it seems a long long way

Let us go then
You and I
When the call is about to die

Let us drown ourselves

In this silly good
Between the two ends

Of our phones

When there’s still the chill
In this February air.

Saikat Das (39), comes from Chinsurah, a Dutch settlement on the banks of river Hugli. A teacher in a sub-urban High School, he dreams of writing a novel but has always ended up writing poems that wink at him rather mischievously, taunting his bouts of passion that never quite make it to a novel. But he hasn’t given up.
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