The air has cleared today,

Over the city, and in my head,

I see the trees breathe

The invisible greenness of air,

I feel the taste of sunlight

On my hungry face,

I don’t remember the day

I was born,

But I will remember this day,

When the air cleared,

After days of foggy thoughts,

A bastard of a week,

“Time is a fucking bastard”

Wrote Carlos Fuentes,

And he was right, not people,

Time is the bastard,

It is always looking to

Tear us off from everything,

From days of love,

Nights of bitter forgetting,

From gestures,
Whose meanings we hid
Even from ourselves,

From faces

We were scared to touch,

Time, the bastard,

Scared us of consequences,

And we, with memories

Of defeated shadows,

We gave in, we failed to bring

Our hands of blood

To warm a face,

And it lingered, it lingers

With our steps, on roads Amichai

Called, “dark, flowing love”

We walk over them

Carrying the dead over our


We hide the sun in our back,

We who crushed

Many moons in our palms,

We become plotters

Of time, we plot against

Our defeats, naming others

For our neurosis,

Once upon a time, the bastard

Had a face and a name,

Of a god, lying on the amorous

Bed of a cobra, its hood

An umbrella of panoptic gaze,

Time kept guard on itself,

Love, watched by serpentine

Eyes, love is never alone,

Never allowed to be alone on earth

Or heaven, fruit or no fruit,

Tree or no tree, love was fated

To face vigil, its nakedness

Under the scrutiny of mirrors,

We only feign having eyes,

Blind children of time,

We don’t see the way we wait

For the one we love,

And those who do not see,

Do not welcome,

We do not welcome another

Body, the way the night
Welcomes the moon, the water
Welcomes the gazelle,
History is a triumph of the
Carnivore, not those
Eating animal flesh,
But those banished from home,
Those who banished Antigone
From the hearth,
We seek victory over time,
And pay for it with exile,
We lost the only thing we had
For what wasn’t ours,
We lost the beloved, Rilke said,
From the start,
The beloved who walks beside us,
One we do not see,
The air has cleared, marking
My hollow forehead
With a star, I am yet to name.

By Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee

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