Three fragments: on love and other afflictions

Painting: The Two Fridas by Frida Kahlo, 1939

standstill

even on our brightest days,

a satin stream of yellow rooms

stuck like fishbone at our throats

you braided your hair with seaweed,

and wore a marmalade sundress–

your breasts, like two downy pigeons-

wrapped the blue of shabby rooms

where you poured your shadows in tall

wine glasses, and could not cry

when they nestled against my chest, the

heart: hard and white like conch shell–

broke.

we always know

I’ve loved you longer than I’ve

loved my own skin

but at that moment, we knew-

no one will wait for us at home

no one will kiss us like it’s death

no one will braid our hair in the dark

no one will call out our grey names at metro

at that moment we just knew-

and we looked at each other

and I realised that you never will

and you realised that I never meant to

and we lay like blackened acacia branches in mist

and we smiled like it’s spring

of growth

love, may you never say

(even at winters, with nights

long; silences, longer…)

that I never loved you

I think of you like old women

think of boxed-up childhood sweaters in dark~

to be taken out for memory’s sake

one gentle relic of the past,

to be cherished like whiffs of orange

candy in mothballed wool,

to be gently folded back in place,

lest those strands snap again.

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Ritoshree Chatterjee pursues her undergraduate degree in English literature and struggles to locate herself through writing amidst the chaos.

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