Featured Poetry: Abhishek Sengupta

abhisheksg1

They Hide in All Forms

Abhishek Sengupta

You tiptoed into our absence, last night.
I wondered if the frail touches you wore
were mostly the beads of silence, covering you
in that hymn, you used to chant unconsciously.

#

She makes delicious cakes these days for you and me.
All she needs is some appreciation and
a universe running backward, falling into itself,
into a time before time began. Her cakes
mostly taste of that moment. Indivisible.
You do remember, as a child, how
she used to want to break the proton down
with her tablespoon? And then we stopped her.
She keeps making cakes these days.
One after the other. Never stops.
They all taste of that moment, and delicious.
Much too delicious. She has been saving
each last piece, she says, for you.
You must come to meet us too, she says.

#

Our abandoned lab smells of formaldehyde and tears
of a mad woman these days as if
you have been sitting in a corner, remembering us,
shedding chemical tears. The scent of the formaldehyde
cruises past your sentience. Formaldehyde. Why do they call it that?
She asked me one of these days, you know. And I said
because they hide in all forms. Unscientific,
you’ll say, I know. But our science can’t keep up
With her inquisition, and truth is not all science.
Two fingers submerged in your formaldehyde solution.
Two index fingers. One a few inches smaller than the other.

#

She was born to you, me and science, all at once.
She has a mind more inquisitive still
than all the men, who came to inspect
if our study will not contaminate their religions,
taken together. Her questions are more difficult
to tackle than all of theirs, taken together.
Too early did she learn, like her father,
the powers bestowed on the index finger.
She raised it to their questions;
she pointed it to their answers,
like her father, she still does. Never stops.

#

You tiptoed into our absence, last night.
You opened the book on the exact page
I had bookmarked with a piece of frozen fire.
I can’t remember how many times
you have read that page now. The words
in the page have been replaced with stars, twinkling
in the night sky. The page is now made
of the void, that holds a universe in its palm.
But when you press it with yours, do you feel
the last touches of my index finger
preserved forever on an infinite page?

#

On the day she was making her first cake,
the door had been brought down
before they cut down our index fingers,
father and daughter alike, as if
they were fingernails. But the door
that had been brought down seemed
like a window to the outside
and the beyond, as if the boundaries were all gone.
When they questioned me on why
I had asked questions, I saw the woman
standing behind them all, her mouth agape.
I wanted to ask them if the woman used to chant
the same hymn that you used to chant
even while you worked in the lab with me,
but my questions were the color of charcoal to them;
She and I were nothing more than our index fingers
they had cut down, a little while back,
father and daughter alike. When they cut us down too,
we saw the boundaries recede into a time
before time began, as we fell into eternity’s lap, and into yours.
When you touched your daughter and me, in our last breaths,
I noticed you wore the frail touch of a mother.

#

The beads of silence that you have threaded together
is time, but you are not. You walk down the corridors
as if you don’t know yourself, or the atoms that constitute you;
as if it wasn’t us, but you they’d cut down. Making you no lesser a spirit than us.
She asks me, at times, if you are a ghost now. And I say, yes.
Truth is not all science, nor is it all that science is not.
They hide in all forms, I say to her.
They hide in all forms.

Save

Advertisements