…it is not a matter of knowing and that it is there for no-one. A secret doesn’t belong…

                                                                                                                           (The Gift of Death, Derrida)


Even by dusk today it hasn’t rained,

and parchments in the draft diffract me

to a mirage of prayers—


          First, the olive minar of the mosque,

          which I want to test,

          if it’s just the surface of a pond,

          by throwing flat pebbles, if they skim.


                    Second, the blazing neon from the railway station,

                   dissolving the melancholy grouse of the engine,

                   that meander into the kirtan’s refrain,

                   from much beyond, where a huge

                   glacier must have melted today—


where summer had engendered faith…

and, I from so far can tell

that beyond this giant mirage they are

stripping my god, blindfolded on a train,

my faith unbeknownst to her,

as she rolls on wheels of cold fire

naked, across the border.


The muezzin’s allaah… from the ramparts of the mosque,

is the final brushstroke in my religion;

I know she is far, very far, I know

the raven has torn her apart, my god.

Arup K Chatterjee is Asst. Prof. of English at University of Delhi. He is a PhD scholar at the Centre for English Studies, Jawharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is the founder/editor of Coldnoon: Travel Poetics (International Journal of Travel Writing). He is recipient of Charles Wallace fellowship, 2014-15, to UK.

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