Art by Lily Bell
Tragedy of Your Dystopia
Your taste lingers ad nauseam on my tongue, my lips,
my thigh, at the back of my neck,
on the reckless lines of my palm,
and in forbidden places one-too-many;
where perfidies of Holy Scriptures cannot reach,
so you do not taste like blasphemy.
Yet I can claim no right to you
Or truths that define your being
I should not know how you cry
through the sound of rain,
how you blow out candles
after an uphill trek
through a rugged terrain
for the sweet taste of my
sweat. But I do.
I have no right to feel,
or give in, or cling on
to your urgency
against my skin. But I do.
I should not
I ought not
I better be not
Because there is
a goddamn law
an imposter tradition
a democracy unworthy of its name
a gentleman by day, wife beater at night
right down the street,
or just around the corner,
or on a two-storey building
or in the attic with a dagger.
You wonder how they have it mustered
the meticulous art of arranging fine letters
into words that reek of dastardly violence
so pungent, so mordant
Like: s-i-n and s-a-c-r-i-l-e-g-e
Like p-r-o-f-a-n-e and p-e-r-v-e-r-s-e
Like c-o-r-r-e-c-t-i-v-e r-a-p-e
So when someone asks
why does your smile resemble mine
know that they want us to run our fastest
And slither into depths of our closet
And have it locked from the inside.
But we have heard songs of freedom
Whose promise doesn’t wane
So we walk down the streets and our
banners coloured rainbow sway in pride.
Sohini Chatterjee holds an MA in International Relations, her work has previously appeared in Kindle Magazine, Cafe Dissensus Everyday, Huffington Post India, Coldnoon: Travel Poetics, The Lookout Journal among others. Sohini is a feminist and writes primarily on gender, culture and politics.