Tomba and the Poem

I met you when the poem was in cradle
We never talked too when the poem was crawling
We talked only after we crossed Bramaputra River
And In the noise of the train
We brushed our teeth together

You came with a pain in your heart
With your bags full of untold stories
So we stood together washing our face
Staring at each other through the broken mirrors
Of that summer train like school kids
You kept on singing “Californication” till the train halted

We travelled the city in auto rickshaws
We looked at each other through its side mirror
And a time had come we shed our clothes
But not for the hot summer
But Inside my tiny little room
Inside which I had cut my hands many times
For my idiotic thoughts and stupid worries
The poem too shed its clothes
Growing its limb as we breathed fast

Many nights you sang “Sunflower Sutra”
To the poem and it slept away like a sweet girl
Slowly you opened your bags
And words fed the poem, it cried and cried
Helplessly like it had be thrown down
From the terrace of your brick house

And you and I became the most beautiful thing
On earth while the poem wept for your stories
We were sweet like anything under your thick blanket
(Still I smell your blanket)

You read me Shakespeare
And explained as you knew I hardly understood
And asked me “Isn’t it beautiful?”
And I nodded my head and said Yes!
And we kissed

We cooked together the best Kangsoi
We slurp it like cat
The rice, we ate
Like we had been the prisoners of war in the city

In the night in the day
We always had monsoon
And still we were always eager for it
But the poem was all wet with it

One day in a crowded railway station you departed me
And I popped up with the poem and my guitar
In a strange place with strangers
There I made friends with strangers
They were all Bengalis and Marathis

One drunken night in a cheapest bar
They snatched the poem from me
On the very table where matchsticks were thrown out
Like death in my homeland

Where ashtrays were filled with stars and galaxies
They read it, sang it out loud in their mother tongue
Like the cigarette in my hand, my heart burnt
So in the ice cold glass of whiskey I dived
And with my heavy heart I slept away the night

Next morning I woke to a field of marijuana
And I, who was poor and hungry always
Had to eat, smoke and fuck the leaves
So I emerged next to the poem again
Sitting in a library of astronomers
The poem flew among the stars and galaxies
Searching for its root
It even asked why Newton was kept under an ugly Banyan tree
Why was there a stone imitating apple
And it flew to Moreh
And rested awhile sleeping
Inside a hole of a half opened pumpkin
It woke up all yellow
And again it flew back to America
For all my wanting to be a beatnik
And learnt to have free sex

One day again I popped up next to you
You came to me with no flowers as usual
We felt complete with our weekend drinks
And monsoon arrived
But the poem was walking free on the streets in our land
Like a rag-picker
It wore the blood of Paorabi Bomb Blast in October
It lamented for the highway 39
It laughed at the futility of revolution
It sang for the barber’s radio
Crying for the barber who was killed

Now the poem doesn’t bother you and me
Only sometimes you ask me where is it
You have forgotten too “Sunflower Sutra”
And I don’t know too where the poem is gone
With its broad shoulder
Without bothering our stories
Now it has become a Lamjasara
I never bother too
Where the poem is walking away or doing
But if it has done something wrong
They will come looking for me
As I raised it from that streets of orphans

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