love quarantined

By Mallika Bhaumik

I pull up the blinds
and look at the glassy darkness waiting outside,
night is a pause,
droplets of the day's fatigue gathered in its palm,
its sighs and shadows coming back 
like cards from an anonymous lover, his
unclaimed love.
An insomniac tells the tale 
of the time that has flown through me, its slippery mossy trail, 
of a heart that remains folded in a Kashmiri wooden box, the smell of unread verses,
the fluid love of Darbari Kanada slow dance on my skin.

I close my eyes
Night becomes a long lonely stretch of asphalt
sound of footsteps fading, mingling with the dark 
an eerie silence envelopes a fear 
stretching itself to the fragile china cup that brings the day to my lips,
the quotidian of virus laden news and hand sanitisers follow me
a black kitten mews around the bin
I go through another day of quarantine.

Mallika Bhaumik has a Master’s degree in English from the university of Calcutta.Her works have been widely published in reputed e mags like Cafe Dissensus, Shot Glass journal, Harbinger Asylum, Mad Swirl, In Parentheses, Madras Courier to name a few. Her first book of poems, Echoes (2017) by Authorspress, has won the Reuel International Award for the best debut poetry collection, 2018. Her second book of poetry is, How not to remember (2019) by Hawakal Publishers. She is a nominee for the Pushcart Prize for poetry, 2019. Her poems have been included in the PG syllabus of BBKM university, Dhanbad (2020). She lives and writes from Kolkata

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