Reviewed by Richik Banerjee
Amidst the loud shelling of bullets and gunpowder, trenches and blood, decapitated trees and burnt nests, Sassoon and displacement, kaboom and boom boom, blackouts and hideouts, howling and panic, Chernobyl and Kyiv, jets and supersonic, ammunition and march pasts, velocity and triggers, reloads and tanks, oil and nuclear winter, your lines break through my uniform and massage my chest and hands and fingers and legs, as if, to remind me of my duty to sleep well:
“A glimpse of you, a poem I read…
sleepless hours tiptoe past;
you make me want to forget
the definition of rest.” (Mukherjee 9)
Your lines carry the colors of Geraldine and I wish to be your Christabel: I wish to be trapped inside your magical delirium and stay glued to your dreams of ‘latticed silver…’ (Mukherjee 10). I wish to be your ‘gold’ and ‘blue’ and ‘oil paint’. I wish to bathe in our shame of ‘light cotton spread’ (Mukherjee 10). I wish to be your tongue. I wish to be your navel. I wish to be imperfect with you and hold you and press the scent of our intimacy. I wish to be your fleshy ‘harmonica’ so that you can caress my bones with your ‘lavender’ teeth and lick the pain off my tired limbs. I wish to be your sweaty time and you can let those ‘dragons’ loose over my body, as if, I will mind. I so wish to be your ‘wet soil’ (Mukherjee 13) where we can plant ‘seeds’ and ‘roses’ and eat ‘fish’. Oh!! my love, I read your lines with wet visions and dryness:
“a calligraphy of amour,
each sentence a song,
each chapter a bed.” (Mukherjee 14)
Wish I could be your autumn and winter and together we could have danced in the rains in Eden and shampoo each other with ‘rose-gold pomegranate’ seeds that would have disturbed the moon on her night. I wish I could ‘watercolor’ your ‘portrait’ and tattoo your closure on my ‘rib cage’; the pain will find its colors like the palette of your lines:
“…a turquoise scorpion
runs down my stomach
and ends above the soft-pit
of flower-potions.” (Mukherjee 16)
I wish to feel your love song in my bones while I take shelter in your oceanic heart. I could have ordered the oceans to swallow any ‘salty’ distance between us, as I would have loved to echo in the ‘arithmetic’ of our ‘insomniac’ love. I would wish to die for our coffee kisses, our ‘orange’ nights, our ‘cherry’ drinks. If only, I had the chance of tasting our ‘Blue Lagoon mocktail’. Beloved, your letters are like the rainbows of blindness, the melody of deafness, the taste of ‘prickly pear’, the sound of music, the antenna to my dawn. I wish to be your metaphysical excavator, your spiritual geographer where Donne would even fail to capture the rupture of my heartbeat. I wish to stop time so as to enjoy snowflakes with you, dance with you in tight spaces while the ‘bukhari’ cools down in off mode. I wish to send you postcards of my ‘emerald’ touch and my ‘onyx’ touch and press your lips against mine while I read your lines:
“I inhale your roughness in the
ambrosia of a close-eyed kiss.” (Mukherjee 22)
I wish to tame the Sun and practice Donne with you, naked in my ‘silvery’ arms and rub my fingers over your ‘coral’ armpits while I get lost in your velvety face. I wish I could kiss your palms and feel your ‘violet’ breath on my face while I turn ‘tangerine’ in our orgasmic space.
I wish I could do all these and much more, if only, I was in a different sphere, if only, I was in a different soil, if only, I was carrying no weights, if only, I was obeying no orders, if only, I was wearing no uniform!
Yours truly forever
Jagari Mukherjee’s book Letters to Inamorato is available at https://www.amazon.in/Letters-Inamorato-Jagari-Mukherjee/dp/B09T37WF6D
Such a lovely read! The imagery and lyricism is bewildering.