Love or Food

Sanjana Srivastava 


Walking through the lanes of Sokoto,

I came across a starved black child.

His legs were like twigs,

And fingers senile.

His hollow eyes loathed my light skin,

Love or food,

What should have I given him?


His father narrated him stories of horror,

His mother died of hunger.

His heavy head drilled through the bin,

In quest of food during famine.

His malformed ribs sang of human sin,

In quest of love during famine.

Flies fed on his skin,

As he slept famished during famine.

Love or food,

What should have I given him?


He came to meet me yesterday,

While I drowsed in Calcutta Cafe.

I gave him food.

He gave me love.

I dreamed of a dream.

He dreamed of mother’s milk.

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