Neruda or Nobody

You are like a sword, blue and green

You undulate to the touch like a river

You are Neftali Reyes, Neruda, the “Chilean Poet”!

Rising to decomposed, lazy afternoons, you

Leave me in the middle of my own moon

Wounded ground are sturdier, but

Cemeteries are no longer lonesome, the

Crowded deaths have entombed nobody

Plague has occupied every cranny of your Lankan memory

Shy jungle women haunt me as they do you, Pablo

Yet I am a nobody! And you…

You have copulated with statues, with

Testaments that cry out for autumn!

I am a nobody, Pablo, not lonely

Stray dogs, too, have been my companions, as have envy

Thought of “early winter” setting in makes me for

Moth-eaten blankets and a faraway marine night

 I, too, weep in the midst of the invasion, uncertainty…

But I no longer dream, I am not

Burdened any longer with my moral remains

I merely weep for a “residence on earth”, for a

Morning’s rumours afire with sacrifice

My scissors, too, are exhausted, Pablo

I no longer know you, as I had once

Memories are creatures spawn of fallen leaves, of

Skies that refuse to shed!

Come Pablo, let us together recite the names of many

Yet I am a nobody! And you…


~Jaideep Saikia 

Guwahati, India

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