Afternoon collage by Mallika Bhaumik

The afternoon gathers itself
its creases and folds on my sweaty forehead,
the tangy trickling of jal jeera down the throat,
as I gulp down each passing moment
losing them forever in the whiteness of this summer noon
to the conspiracy of time.

This afternoon is a long long wait
the wait for opening a parcel or an envelope that never arrives,
lost in transit or never written perhaps,
the wait of closed doors, those that I clicked during my trip to some European cities last October.
They stand with a strange silence; thronging behind them
their hushed stories slowly melting in me,
my cells soaking them,
the afternoon becomes my damp kitchen cloth, oil and aroma smeared.

Life has an insatiable thirst
I feel it spreading o’er my skin.
What if this afternoon brings you out of the wait to sit beside me ?
What if it pauses for a while to drink from the sky, hanging so low ?
Love becomes a whiff of monsoon,
the afternoon takes the shape of words
that carry the rains.

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Mallika Bhaumik has a Master’s degree in English literature from the University of Calcutta.
Her works have been widely published in  reputed e mags like Cafe Dissensus,Stag Hill Journal, The WomanInc, Pangolin Review, Shot Glass journal,Harbringer Asylum,Mad Swirl, In Parentheses,Madras Courier, Kitaab, Borderless Journal,Bengaluru Review to name a few.
Her first book of poems,’Echoes'(2017) by Authorspress,New Delhi, has won the Reuel International Award for the best debut Poetry collection,2018.
Her second book of poems,’How not to remember'(2019) has been published by Hawakal Publishers,Kolkata.
She is also a nominee for the Pushcart Prize for poetry, 2019.
Her poems are included in the Post Graduate  syllabus of BBKM University, Dhanbad,2020
She lives and writes from Kolkata .

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