Mohammad Rafiq

(1943 / Baitpur, Bagerhat / Bangladesh)

No One Belonging To Me - Poem by Mohammad Rafiq

With the meeting of the Baleshwar and Pashur in his heart
the man floats till he reaches dry land
Mehendigang market, Char Baisha's shrine

Half-broken voices, rain-soaked footsteps, whispers among
potatoes and onions in shuttered shops and warehouses
hurricane lanterns' smoky glow like muddy water at high tide

Faces look familiar, bangles and laughter jangle
thatched roofs are slick and mossy in the moonlight
a flirtatious sari slips off a head, everything is dripping, dropping

In Banishanta village nothing moves under the man's gaze
market stalls, narrow path obliterated by water and mud
paddy on both sides, shaora bushes—father and grand-

Father, come back, son—cold touch of people you don't belong to
shadows, odor of shrouds and incense rises from the graves
a sickle of light crosses the fields on the moon's twelfth night

Suddenly, a circus tent touches the body and takes flight
arthritic sleep, miserable horse's hoofbeats, dead tiger's ribcage
tendons—but the man's illusion hasn't shattered

With only the meeting of the Baleshwar and Pashur in his heart
he floats till he digs into the bank one night
knees smudged with dirt, palms smelling of scum and fish scales


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Poem Edited: Tuesday, June 5, 2012


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