Poem by Monidipa Mondal


 Hip-Bone Butterfly

I want to wake you up in the morning

and peel you off bit by bit till you’re parched and white.


I would like to see you whole, unblinking,

watch you unravel like a sanctum —

your hair teeth glistening intestines soot-black lungs,

and to pluck aside all that’s redundant or impure.


I will simmer off all your manners memories

education acquired tastes all your practised tricks,

pick you clean of your cracks, strain away each

disfiguring remnant of wear.


At the first summer rain I will plant wild jasmine

in your ribcage. I want to straddle your legs in vine

and fill your girdle with fruit, unlock

your cranium for bees ants wasps caterpillars.


And then, I want to sit at your feet — cross-legged

and rapt like a pupil

and await the flutter of wings.

Monidipa Mondal (writing fiction as Mimi Mondal) is a writer from Calcutta, who currently lives in Philadelphia. In the past she has been a Poetry with Prakriti prizewinner; a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Stirling, Scotland; an Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholar at the Clarion West Writing Workshop, Seattle; and is currently a writing fellow at Rutgers University, New Jersey. Her debut short story collection Other People will be published in 2016 by Juggernaut Books.

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