Two Prose Poems

Shinjini Bhattacharjee


Night, explain the distance between yes and yes. Thunderclap unhinged, I squint at the sight of branches fractured on the window. Through it, I see the wind peeling inside itself, pulling graveyards of blur out of every invisible branch. They taste of trembling skin, and of questions slipped in without the marks. Lie like a closure, or like hems that empty the thickness of discard. On the top of the hill, the girls always sneeze inside the folds of red silk. It belongs to a woman who hides inside a bear skull, whose earlobes are made of still water, pushing out diamonds. Every week, she teaches the town folk how to disassemble themselves inside their homes. How the left eye must always be placed on the headboard, or how the cheek must be smeared on the floor like a freshly evacuated bouquet. I do not like her, yet she manages to turn the knob on the neck of my shadow to get inside it. Somewhere, the birds stop lending their skins to the sky.


How to build a boat from bedroom towels

In this one, you lived like an elbow wholly untouched. How many hourglasses does one need to break to stretch a desert? The rumors are true: That night wilted around the edges of our fingers and the salted fog. You carried it in your white basket, eager to feed the baby kittens. How many times will we let the leaves blur our whispers, or let the sky break inside the words whenever I say something slippery. The background should have been a totem, but it was mostly brown, with purple abject. That night, there was no land, and yet we stuffed our erosions with apples, goldfish and cotton so that the walls could age faster. You cooked eggs for dinner, yellow like an oak steeling itself against a river. It would have smelled as beautiful as a painting, only if I was not too weary in it. Only if you had not starved their moon crusts in the palm of your hands. A definition makes use of both the object and the dust beneath its flinch. “I love you,” for instance. Or solitude drawn too fiercely on the window. When the light shines on it, it’s so bright, it is frightening.

SHINJINI BHATTACHARJEE is a writer and the Editor-in-Chief of Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems have been published, or are forthcoming in Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Cimarron Review, Gone Lawn, Crack the Spine, Small Po[r]tions, elimae, Red Paint Hills Poetry, Literary Orphans and elsewhere.

Leave a Reply