Two Poems by Basudhara Roy


Faux Foliage

From the colander of your acts,
your words fall thick and fast,
whiten my floor like flour.

Your indifference huddles back,
too unwieldy to pass through.
Not surprised, I put it in a trough.

The synthetic love that grows
will breathe neither fragrance nor air.
But it will have colour and form,

and all the semblance
of a promise, stillborn.


The seat of desire is everywhere.
In this twelve-by-twelve room we share,
every article exudes warmth.
Books, biscuits, rose-tinted wallpaper,
alarm clock,
even the split green gram
sending in a rush its dense forest
of milk-white shoots upon that table
has swallowed love’s sap.

I have known you now a few months
and am learning to find
in the majuscules of your face
the assurance of all my days.
It is new, this land dancing away
under my feet as if it cannot stop, this urge
to make my skin some wall
against which you may lean awhile
as you pleat the kerning of stars.

When you are away, I tidy your dresses;
sometimes put them on.
Match your muffins with my skirts,
feel upon my chest the heaviness
of your breasts. It’s a rare intimacy,
this candid conversation of clothes and form.
During a difficult period, you bring me
warm milk with turmeric, a hot water bottle,
placing it in the niche of my abdomen

where it belongs. In the daunting bazaars
you bring me to, I urgently seek your hand.
You allow, make room for my damp fingers
within your steady, smoother ones.
Our silence brims with a conversation
I carry each moment in my head.
It is only your recesses I can ever wish
to inhabit. I want to tell you that
in this teeming, relentless city,

you alone are home.

About the Author

Basudhara Roy is Assistant Professor of English at Karim City College, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India. As a poet and reviewer, her work is featured/upcoming in anthologies and  magazines like The Helter Skelter Anthology of New Writing in English, The Aleph Review, The Poetry Society of India, Mad in Asia Pacific, Teesta, Borderless, Muse India, Shabdadguchha, Cerebration, Rupkatha, Triveni, and Setu among others. She is the author of two books, Migrations of Hope (Criticism; New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers, 2019) and Moon in My Teacup (Poetry; Kolkata: Writer’s Workshop, 2019). Her second poetry collection, Stitching a Home, is forthcoming this year.


Claude Monet, Springtime, 1872 (detail)

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