The first time, clanging utensils next door
A little late for washing, but who knows.
The cold knows no reason
Then, the swish and splash of a bath. Our bath.
The door opens
A bucket lying idle, dust borne ages
We felt something, a shiver,
Blamed it on the cold
The spirits inside
Then, finally, a knock
On the door, we open, finally.
And let the spring air in
Two sisters, the chowkidar said at morning.
They come and go
Sometimes, they are in the village festivals too
Once they slapped the new engineer
Like a breeze,
Asked for tea, laughed.
They laugh, so lovely,
They are, so beautiful, like air and water
And the dark forest nearby.
Sunlight talks to Zenzi these days.
She mumbles, yes
And sunlight listens, and falls in love slanted.
All quiet, they talk a silent language.
Her eyes follow, light’s trail,
Hopscotch plays, now dappling here, now there.
She is surprised, and shows it!
How light moves, so swift, a comet’s tail.
Her eyes turn, earth and venus,
Waiting for light’s next move, cat and mouse.
Amlanjyoti Goswami’s poems have appeared in The Caravan, Mint, IQ: The Indian Quarterly, Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi) and The North East Review. His stories have been published by Himal SouthAsian andPapercuts: Desi Writers Lounge. He grew up in Guwahati, Assam and lives in Delhi.