Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee

The Veil


She walks past the wave
Of curious glances
An apparition eluding
Light and desire
Everything she hides from
Trembles in her body
She remembers the lures
In every street
But no street will ever
Remember her
Only the walls and the mirror
Engrave her silence
Her memory remains buried
Among blind objects
Certain mornings she discovers
Eyes with no face
Or a face wearing someone
Else’s eyes
Certain afternoons she wonders
Why custom demanded
That her body be torn from
Its glare
One night she picks up the pen
To draw alphabets
Appearing to her as eyes


Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee is a poet, writer, translator and political science scholar. His poems have appeared in World Literature Today, Rattle, The London MagazineNew Welsh ReviewAcumen, The Fortnightly Review, and others. His prose has appeared in The New York TimesLos Angeles Review of BooksGuernicaOutlookThe Hindu and The Wire. His first collection of poetry, Ghalib’s Tomb and Other Poems, was published by The London Magazine (November, 2013)His political nonfiction, Looking for the NationTowards Another Idea of India, was published by Speaking Tiger Books (August, 2018).

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