Shaira Afrida Oyshee >> Three Poems
In Hatia Shondip, the birds sing tunes they learnt from the TV kept on throughout the day in a tea stall named ‘forever’
The bright yellow of the letters are weather beaten and only exist as freckles
‘Forever’, the vendor said, is a word the lovers say to each other, he had learnt it from a movie.
So, he says ‘forever’ to his wife every day and she repeats, none of them know what it means.
At night when the gamblers have left the stall, he carries the TV home to his daughters.
They watch the same stories over and over again; always about a rich boy from the city, falling in love with a poor girl with a hand full of clever words.
Or a girl who wears short leather skirts and is proven wrong by a shy boy with the strength of a bull and saves her from goons with blunt weapons.
They snap open pea pods with their fingers, their muscles have memorized the routine, and their eyes fixated on the black and white screen, imagining the clever words they will one day utter, and soften the toughest of men.
There is a boy who is in love with the eldest daughter. He is half her size and has half her strength and knows only to admire patterns of tree logs, makes intricate paintings of plant species.
Some mornings, she asks to take her with him to collect white shapla from the river. Once he dared to scoop water and splash it to her face, he felt his hands disappearing.
The next day she told him to bring lipsticks from the bazaar, which she crushed on her lips frustrated, to look like the girl in a mini skirt waiting to be proven wrong.
Dear Rumi, You and I are both here
Still like the candle that melted to our summer love
Grey like Boston sky that grow the relentless, I’m here
I’m in the uninvited metaphors you fish for in the river
Dressed as the waves that cradle you as you cry, I’m here
In the swans who know business, and tides who know more
In New York, on a park bench, too busy but I’m here.
Find yourself, I’ll be here.
Morning Shows the Day
A few lose leaves circle around red tea
They settle below – the red lightens within two sips
A shade of oyster blue on the ends of sunny side up
The yolk deflates, finds its way to the ripe and unskinned peach
Light grey of the newspaper is tucked under the plate
It covers flickering squared stories from yesterday
And soon a starling bird will come snatch it all –
Make him wish upon its freckles –
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