Already, the laughter
of bloody hands smears the nascent moon.
Conscience floods the streets today,
waving its white flag at time.
There is no memory here,
not even forgetting;
only us, waiting somewhere
to lower the mark of our fallen depths;
say the right things,
shout the right slogans,
our silence lisping tolerance.
We’ve waited tolerantly for decades
in Kashmir’s unmarked graves,
Bastar’s raped forests,
in trident-impaled bodies of children in Gujarat;
waited in rath-yatras and mobs,
with death smirking saffron in our eyes;
we’ve waited in scriptures of ordained oppression
until we shat culture by the mouth,
pissed law by the tongue.
Don’t question us,
those precise methods by which
we’ve torn water and blood apart;
don’t condemn this betrayal
of a humanity alien to us,
this revenge we exact for all our defeats.
Let us lynch, rape, kill them in peace;
build a temple of purebred-filth
on razed mosques and dargahs,
hurl hope itself at the axe.
This Eid, we’ll visit those quiet houses again,
partake of sewaiyaan,
wish them Khudaa Haafiz as we leave,
their murdered dead under our feet.
We’ll do well when the crescent smiles
sadly at the hour;
don’t bother to remind us we are the walking dead,
don’t wait for anything to sicken us with ourselves.


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Nabanita Kanungo Written by:

Nabanita Kanungo hails from Shillong and presently teaches Geography in Assam University's Diphu Campus. Her poems have appeared in various anthologies and journals. A Map of Ruins, her first book of poems, was published by Sahitya Akademi in 2014

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