Unpacking a poem


By Sreemanti Sengupta#

He laughed in stairs,
and I got down on them—
rickety wooden steps,
the kind that spirals,
the kind I love.

I haven’t told you this yet,
have I?
that going down the stairs
is the bluebeard’s wife,
caged anger in her eyes.

Did you hear that?
Somebody cut the strings
and believe me, there’s a long way to go.
Why is it? Why is it? Why?
Why some voices just whisper to me?

The wood flakes fly off
And over there I see mists
and nothing else,
nothing else

Or maybe I missed
a rustic call?

The boatman stands two steps behind
asking me if he’d tie the boat there.
Would he, love?
Is it here, that we lay stranded
making silent screams,
and a hurried love?

He asks me again,
and I hear you laughing in steps.
This time you hurry,
You jump some, miss some
teasing me in stilettos.

Now, the edges become sharp,
How far have you gone inside me?
What is it like there?
Is it the romantic quicksand I imagine?

If you’re in that murk
You’re still laughing in stairs
And I’ll die leaking your laughter.


# About the poet

Sreemanti Sengupta is an advertising copywriter by profession based in Kolkata, India. She has been writing in her vernacular (Bengali), and English ever since she can remember. Her poetry and prose pieces have been published previously in print anthologies and extensively in the online medium in both the languages. She celebrates ‘the word’ as a tool for profound change in all planes of existence. She keeps an erratic personal blog at www.weareideating.wordpress.com, runs her own e-magazine based on post modern creativity at www.theoddmagazine.blogspot.in, and earns an inconsistent living by writing ads like here www.adeect.wordpress.com.

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