The Girl in the Painting

By Shyamasri Maji

The Girl in the Painting
The sky and the sea do not mate, yet they have a child of their own
It plays across the city tonight like a painter's whimsical brush
on the open edges of a black canvas with eyes wide open and says,
“Look! The pink flowers on the huge hoarding of a five star hotel
are apologising to a bar dancer, for whom nobody clapped today.”
I saw the flowers, I smiled at the bar dancer smoking in a red cab and                                                              gazed at the malls drizzling specks of light like the crackers in Deepavali,
The streets flowed like rivulets in the faraway hills I visited in kindergarten: 
Little heads danced like a huge caterpillar in the season of Spring festival                                                                           The blue bird sang to a pickpocket leaning against a sparkling sedan car.
Under the noisy shed of a tea stall, I waited for you with black and white patience!
The painter smiled and bent my left arm to thrust an umbrella in my pencil hand                                                                He said, “Girl! Why do you stand under the grey shed of turpentine imagination?”
The thunder struck yellow, the river Nile spilled all over my trembling contour
I tried to recall your telephone number in the blue folds of my wet salwar kameez ,                                                 But, like an unclaimed bicycle in an olive-green lane of a closed factory town                                                                                                                     I had to walk in the splashing streets of muddy pain, all alone in the wooden rain.

Shyamasri Maji is an Assistant Professor in English at Durgapur Women’s College in West Bengal. She completed her MA, M.Phil and PhD in English from the University of Burdwan. She wrote her doctoral thesis on ‘Anxiety of Representation in Select Anglo-Indian Writers.’ She writes poems and short stories on the experiences of Indian women. Her stories have been published in ‘Unish Kuri,’ Muse India, Six Seasons Review and The Story Mirror. Her poems have been published ‘Setu,’ ‘Kolkata Fusion’ (blog) and ‘Indian Periodical.’  



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