In the Third Quarter of 2022

By Amrita Sharma

There have been too many suns in the sky lately,
too many times outnumbering the indefinite stars,
too dull, and yet too many for you and me.
I begin each day with a name, a number and a notice,
typed out in a grammatically incorrect frustrating format,
that I mentally attempt to correct over a breakfast of overcooked cereals.
As I work on a mediocrely fancy desk with a nonfunctional WIFI – I often imagine you smiling – high 
still on the share of my favourite white wine.
My mornings are the dullest part of the brightly sunlit
yellow brick walls, as they slowly cradle me to uncomfortable conversations at work.
I no longer complain intentionally as the afternoons
are rapidly habitualising me to an ungrateful existence.
I face a crowd, six times a week, and that alone
defines my love and command of the foreign English in 
an unbearably unkind Indian locale.
I am trying not to hate the place for the people,
I am trying not to abandon the people for the pain,
I am trying not to starve myself as the final consequence.
The food here carries an unfamiliar rural smell, far
divorced from what I read while growing up in a city,
and I unlearn each lunch as a survival necessity.
I often take the longest path after work, watching
the sunset sky as I walk, wondering
how unfriendly the clean air can get.
I feel really hungry at night but refrain from eating,
punishing myself for being too afraid to execute the mistakes at work that I promised myself to commit.
Each night I examine the things in my hostel room,
mentally chalking out a plan to travel,
weighing the odds of it against my unsanctioned holidays

Amrita Sharma is a guest faculty at the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Una, Himachal Pradesh. She has worked as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Notre Dame, USA. Her works have previously been published in several journals. Her first collection of poems is titled The Skies: Poems.



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