Fifty Degrees

by Suchetana Mukhopadhyay

I …..and today we sweat it out.

……………………………..today the sun takes back its place
in the furrow between our brows:
…………………………two long months.
two long months of sweetly kissing
the winter moaning through the missing
upper tooth
……………………………all for this.
II …..come my darling
……..close the shutters
and tell those men to come back later.
i will not go.
no, no, no, take that big fat
…………………salesman out
and why do your bangles tinkle so?

………………….i shame to show a skin so dark.
III ……yet again
………………………we pass the hour
cradling our dead desire
…………………..in ice
again, against the fire’s cutting edge
………………….unheard, amongst the ash we sigh—
we lie, sprawled out
stark across the floor
limp and limbless on the floor
…………………half-alive

eyes-open wide-awake we wait…
no news at all

the radio is no use
………………….at all
………………….turn it off.
…was it last month, we heard them shout
the youth will rise skyscraper-tall?
damn it all.

we’ll say our prayers in the evening lull
and sleep it out.