There is a deception in amorous time…Yet the initial scene during which I was ravished…it is after the fact.

(A Lover’s Discourse, Barthes).


The car lunges laboriously;

there is a clock in my chest,

whose hours are very heavy;


on this hilly road,

with you beside me, seeing through

my subterfuge of circumvention.


I look up from my book,

Foreclosing an ecstasy—

you overhear,


for I am pretending it is

for another—while you let me pretend,

knowing it’s for you.


My fingers clamber

up and down the spine,

scratching the title,


as though it were the name

embossed on the gulf

of your breasts;


I feel the textile of the writer’s name,

thick under my nails, you look askance

dismantling my valour, in this duel,


sentencing me—Language is a skin:

I rub my language

against the other.


We are bound for the hills, the road

and my strength go winding down

the reluctant slopes…


Before reaching the hill station,

you aver, “It isn’t what you think

we aren’t going to have sex.”


I say, “you speak the voice

of my heart, in a different language.”

“What does your language say,” you ask.


“It says, I’m afraid we might

have to make love in the end.”

Your eyes dazzle with disdain and more…


The zephyr throws in a flutter

of pages, they unclothe on the cushion;

a writer peeps into our amorous game of silence.


Mine is a quiet foresight,

while yours the thwarting of

a foregone conclusion.

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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