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The Meet

by Saikat Das

When an individual comes face to face with himself or herself, a very unusual rendering of one’s own self may happen…A poem by Saikat Das.

The light hasn’t been lit
On the staircase

From downstairs escaped
A faint ray

The lady as ever
Was lighting the lamp

I look at her every time
I move up or go down

Stuck on the wall
She hardly feels her captivity

But rather content in her fixity
All set to light the lamp

So gentle her face, her calm eyes
Not cold but you feel the cool

So much at peace with herself

I can almost feel her fingers
Caressing my muddled hair

My wife had grafted her there
From a book of paintings

Upstairs the drowsy bulb says
They have all gone to my in-laws

I am at rest
After a long time

I come to the door
And unlock it

I had left the bed undone
Got to set it right

Oh God!!!
What’s there on the cot?
What’s it?

Looking at me
With a questioning look

As if I have entered its room
Unasked

A man with a beastly face
A lion’s

But the eyes not fierce
Neither hungry

Rather cold

But seems
Not pleased at all

Censuring me
For having broken in

It’s got my body
Wearing my clothes

The same watch

No, it didn’t get closer
Nor I moved towards it

Only watched the other

Staying where we are.

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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