Fish, With a Dash of Lime

By Debnita Chakravarti

Urban, Wallpaper, Bangladesh, Village, Winter, Green

When the first few drops
Fall through the cracked cover
Of the enamel pot
Where the fish lie dying
They freeze. For a moment.
Then fins fan up
And gills gasp out
The tails thrash hard
As they jostle around
Seeking the wet world;
Their moss-green glide
Through cool dark depths,
Of the village pond
Before they were encircled
In enamel agony, bare and dry.
Untimely rain falls
On dull grey eyes
Like a feverish flicker
Of leaking life.

She stops short, holds her breath
At the sudden shower, surprised,
Tucks her saree, firms her feet
As streets turn muddy, buyers recede.
She feels the fish lurch
On her hurting head
Darts and dashes
Of death being sold
By the kilo.

The dropsplash sings
Of potless times, girlish chimes
On flying swings.
Through city-vat rot
She smells the green
Young grass where they sat
Sucking sour limes
Thin legs dipped
In the village pond,
Fluttering the fish off
In pretty patterns
Of impossible dreams.

Dr Debnita Chakravarti attempts to read Eng. Lit. with UG and PG students, struggles to mother a teenage daughter alongside two rescue felines, and strives everyday to choreograph the chaos that is life. She writes constantly in her head, some of which she manages to crystallise at times.

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