I wonder sometimes where people store all their different faces.
~ Trina Nileena Banerjee

The face he wears every morning
Reminds him of his mother
Combing his hair before school.
The face he carries in the streets
And in his workplace
Where every glance cuts him
To size like a scissor trimming
A bouquet –
That face he wears of hours
The beloved never turned up.
When he meets the woman
In a bar or an unwanted friend
He pretends to carry
On his face a heavy suitcase
For a journey not undertaken.
These faces are not masks –
He has them in store the way
We hang clothes in the cupboard
Meant for different occasions.
In his case the weight is heavier –
He carries the cupboard with him.


Manash Bhattacharjee

4th September, New Delhi


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