"Tragedy of Your Dystopia" by Sohini Chatterjee

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 godman

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.

#poetry #sohinichatterjee