TWO POEMS

AMRITA CHAKRABORTY

DUST

.

it is in my nature
to always be forgiving, to
swallow the fragment of bone
instead of spitting. so then
i let my body convalesce,
shimmer and steam light
into an undiscovered medium.
once i became convinced
that the storage closet in
the attic was my way
out of all this. fearful,
i did not step inside for
months and months. eleven
years old and finally, ducked
my soft covered head
under the rafters. found
dust but it was not only
dust. it swung, a translucent
gray rope, thicker than
my arm. skimmed all the
walls. i could not let it
touch my skin; body not ready
to hold god without a net. still an
hour or more i knelt, drinking
the ancient air. is she
only in things beautiful
my unborn children ask
me and i kiss their smooth
chins. if she is in it, then
it is beautiful / and if she
is in all,
then all.

.

GIRL GAZE

.
i Love the girl whose name

begins with Lin my…..stricken head they’re all

……..the same……..
…………….Lalita..and..Lila they’re scorching
…….…….………………..…….…….……………..……...the blood off the pavement.

they’re boyless and supreme their ..forked and slivered bodies brook noweakness

……..like me. ….and i ..watch them ..baby ..i bring myself to themungainly

Lalita, she’snever sick ..like me she meets each eye with an understandingof the target

……..they seek …..she’s sleek and she’s surreal ..when she steps into …..the dark canal

and emergeswith dry feet. her glorycarries me ..without pretension, ..that rushing foal-force

……..a ….respite from the hovering heat.

Lila, no surfeit of craven age ….can outwit ….there’s a glint in her mind.. i can’t

……..study enough to replicate….she twists and fakes thebait….my griffin girl .my

baying….many-headed wraith. once, i offered….her a roomthen stood by as she took

……..the entire place.

……..and i watch….them baby i bring myself to them ..ungainly….i openfor their invention

someday i pray they’ll turn ….in a furious minute they’ll .care to.. unstop their gaze

Lalita ..andLila ….they’ll….like what ..we see.

AMRITA CHAKRABORTY is a Bangladeshi-American writer. Her poetry and prose has been published by Winter Tangerine, Kajal Magazine, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and is forthcoming from Split Lip Magazine and BOAAT. She is on the staff of Half Mystic Journal and was a winner of the 2018 Golden Shovel Poetry Prize. You can read more of her work at: medium.com/@amrita.chakraborty.

TINY SPILLS
  • Your writer crush: I’m consistently amazed by the work of Safia Elhillo and Helen Oyeyemi–their distinctive modes of storytelling and command of language are so brilliant and compelling to me.

  • Favorite lyrics: From Mitski’s “Strawberry Blond”: I love everybody / because I love you / I don’t need the city, and I / don’t need proof / All I need, darling / is a life in your shape / I picture it, soft / and I ache.

  • Sweetest thing: When cats on the sidewalk actually come to you when you call, examine your hands for a moment, then fall trustingly at your feet and close their eyes.

  • Character you most identify with: Lyra Belacqua from His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, and Lady Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore.