Two Poems by Sayan Aich Bhowmik

Bridges Across the Jehlum

A narrow passage
Down the hall
And I find you seated
On a boat
That has never been moored.
Your fingers move
Carelessly across your face
Tracing alphabets of a race
That swore by the chinars in Kashmir
And died by guns of the occupying army.
I have to cross
A bridge to get to you.
But you are just metres away from me
And your eyes,
A bookshelf of forgotten books,
Silent like a city
Expecting another curfew.
I have already seen you,
Waving at me
And I am yet to cross over to you
And smear your face
With the dust of broken vows
I have gathered from my patrols at midnight.
By the time your eyes rest on mine,
Your guests have left
And all that stands between us
Is a bridge across the Jhelum
That is still being built.

The Voice

The only thing
I’ve craved as a poet
Is to have a voice
Like Shahid’s.
That voice like a burning incense
Like all the lovers of the world
Sighing together.
That voice sits by a fireplace,
His heart and the wood
Crackling at the same time.
When it rains outside,
Shahid is by the window
Singing his favourite Akhtari
And you just know
That even the raindrops
Smile as they fall.
The thing about Shahid
He always wrote letters he never sent
And turned the dial of an obsolete radio
To tune into Radio Kashmir.
Between the stars
That died in his room
You’ll find a milky way
That leads to a room
Where Faiz is burning a forest
And Cohen is writing with the ash.

Sayan Aich is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Shirakole College, West Bengal.

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