Thursday 24 November 2022

Indrani Saha, Poetry 2022 Shortlist

Black Guitar, Broken Strings

Can you remember who you were
Before the world told you who you should be?
Your music made the centaurs stir
When you sang in apoplectic rage for anarchy
Dark skies are perfect for fireworks -
You loved the deluge of darkness in me
In the woods where tragedy lurks
You drank the music out of my body
Sipping it out of the red mole
Beneath the sharp edges of my collarbone
While we were hidden from the world that stole
Your mellifluous heart and turned it to stone.

You left me buried in the forest floor
With your black guitar and your dreams
For you the world had so much in store -
Position, power and childbirth screams,
Your mother found you a suitable bride
When the villagers called me a witch,
With your charming wit and intelligent eyes
You owned the world and you got rich
But the fireworks in the night

Which lit up your life and your parties
Adored by your family as a pretty sight
Made you look for the missing piece
You stopped counting your money
To measure your worth
You’re guilt ridden for the lost symphony
You interred in the innocent womb of earth.

It’s been 40 years since you buried me alive
With your black guitar and broken dreams
Now that you’ve buried your dead wife
You have come looking for missing links
You’ve come looking for me
You are digging up our warm, mossy spot
In the quest of your sanity,
I see you’ve cut your hair short
The villagers find you gentlemanly
To me you look like the government fraud
You became for the sake of society.

You are covered in wrinkles like your wife
But I am trapped in youth – the way you left me
I must be a witch – the rumours were rife
And you are mortified by the magic you see
I am entangled in the broken strings
Of your black guitar and the cobwebs
Growing over your forgotten dreams
Wearing your denim jacket over my black dress
I am youth's sweet venom, the fire of protest
I’m ageless as eternity
I smell like fresh moss and freedom suppressed
A dream never gets old, you see,
I’m your dilapidated dream
But you can still run away with me
Cause I’m decrepit yet evergreen.

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