Mohammad Rafiq

(1943 / Baitpur, Bagerhat / Bangladesh)

Kirtinasha - C - Poem by Mohammad Rafiq

Brine-encrusted wall . . . snake drooping over a beam
dusk approaches with a sigh . . . scraps of crumpled paper
scuttle across the floor . . . a window has blown open
the chill wind sweeps in whooping and wailing

grit scatters over a grimy body with spine-tingling
scratches and scrapes, covering it from head to toe
a half-empty barley tin lies close by, an open
bottle of medicine . . . a bat, just one, frightened

wings flapping, follows the trail of fading light
heavy-lidded eyes open wide, straining to see
the end, its face, its shadow, though the man knows
he's alone . . . no one's been there for days

now even that dim awareness dissolves . . . it's night
a drift of dust shifts without warning, burying
the trickle of painful memories . . . eyes glaze
a lizard clacks loudly, the only witness.

[Translated from Bangla by Carolyn Brown ]

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Poem Edited: Tuesday, June 5, 2012

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