Poem | Sahana Mukherjee

Photo Credits: Lee La

Untitled Lies


Dried leaves, autumn leaves, breathe me into them. Do not assume me, do not assume me, do not assume this death.
You’ve come to me with a broken heart. It’s been raining ever since. The walls have enlarged by a hundred and two, and I am you under our wet tiled roof – large-hearted, and always waiting.

This time, like the last time round, I am early. The collapse is of a lifeless tree. This collapse is the purple in my heart. Move away. Settle down. Settle down like you can’t breathe.

The sky has been darker this year, every evening. The moon has floated in -
lesser and lesser, after midnight, so faint, so green. I forget how relentless, about corners and spaces,

I forget how relentless, about rain, you’ve been.

Come now. Closer still. Sit with me this monsoon. Hearts, I’ve gathered, shut down when we speak. Yet so much room, I’ve learnt, so much room might also suck us in.


If you know how drunk my father gets on Saturdays,
ask me how I speak on Sundays. Talk to me of dead trees
wanting to grow on sand. I’ll talk to you of fault lines, and when
on the seventh night, we forget all about our heart-to-heart,

I’ll spell out secret compilations of love, amnesia, and war.


You had hoped to meet me after the war. I waited till the twelfth night.
On the thirteenth, when it was all over, you wrote to me:

There is no war. There never was. I just ran out of loss.

I left after that. Packed my bags and left for my mother.
Now, the world awaited, but not like her.
Don’t mistake me, or psychoanalyze;

It’s just what they do to the womb --
you keep coming back stagnant,
in circles

like Summer
like Winter
like loss.

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