Anirban Dam


Three days of introspection can change
one’s perspective. For instance, the lint
on your cardigan is not lint. I no longer pick
or peel the parts of you that are fraying.

Instead, I fix your scarf and watch you unravel
from a distance — skin, bone, membrane,
molecule after molecule disseminating as if
a seasonal cycle; meticulous yet organized.

There’s a way how language loses identity
upon translation. That is to say, I can talk about
a river and you might picture a sea,
and the rest will be lost upon us
because there’s salt in your image.

Or perhaps, I’ve grown familiar
to your bodily movements.
How your eyes sift through the vast unlit sky
probably looking for something unresolved,
the way you place the cup on your lap,
fingers circling its brim restlessly.

In this picture, you’re a river,
despite the salt in your speech.
I, the sun, sinking slowly into
the backdrop of your silhouette

and estrangement —
a shadow, that stays put
even after the light source is gone.