By Nandita Modhubonti
A blind woman fly fishes with her cane
soft white jumper, fraying gray ends
her piercing blue eyes are distracting,
as I observe the early inhabitants of Tavistock Square Gardens
I wink back at the sun, today it’s red
An eye keeps out
and grudgingly awaits bus number 168
last stop:Anoushka’s bedroom
(knock three times, and always bring wine)
Turning away from people I know,
the potholes scream my name
From across the street
as the morning breathes life into itself
out 1, 2, 3
in 1, 2, 3
The search for inspiration climaxes
with the slow lurching of the bus
irises make contact
a crinkled pink uniform jerks awake to the clink of a bottle of rosé,
I hold close to my heart.
The clouds glide back to reveal warm magenta,
shrapnel of water
fuchsia jewel tones storm down
mere downpour, torrential existence
ice cold, pretty pink eyes
rose rimmed glasses
warmer than anything I have ever felt.
Frozen droplets encrust the voice of a woman,
till a river of diamonds runs from her mouth
she cries out to our driver in the same tongue
that flows in my veins:
a flood wash of stars, heat, and heartbreak
I conjure up the lines on my grandmother’s face
and as I fall asleep to the cool touch of windowpane,
and dream that she no longer loves me.
Gravelly, breathless humming booms
through the fray,
frazzled nerves are soothed
and my numb toes match its beat.
Bare branches mimic
a palpable desire to live
in the eyes of the young mother
dressed only in sweet memories she snickers
and I step out,
into the London fog.
Shards of a gilded mirror
lay on the street
stop to stare,
the culprit in the reflection is long gone.
His shadow runs back and forth on the tarmac,
immortalized in the remains of a crime, overlooked.
I bend over to make conversation with tattooed butterflies,
in a cage of skin and flesh,
that serves them no longer.
One tells me to love,
the other says I must know better.
A little girl trips over pointy red shoes,
hair dry in the downpour,
her pous is pink pointed indignation.
I realize those delicate lightning eyes
can see my butterflies!
I tend to her scraped knees
Only so she would stay a while,
as the blood flows its course
I wait for her to ask:
“Miss? Aren’t you just happy to be alive?”
Nandita Modhubonti graduated from Clark University in June 2021. She is originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh and currently resides in New York City. Her five-year plan involves leading parallel lives: one as a writer and the other as an international human rights lawyer.