Ballrooms

DEBMALYA BANDYOPADHYAY
MimaChovancova_HereAndThere2.jpg

Illustration by Mima Chovancova

We wanted to slice      ourselves in equal halves

for ghosts that possessed our pasts,

who never apologized —

never locked eyes in the ballroom of our heart,

 

But the heart eventually shape-shifts

into the body's forgotten patterns,

the tongue swallows all that is bitter

                       until the hands grasp another clock

in the dark silence of the ballroom.

 

                         We spin seconds around our spindled skins

                                      until our forefingers lock

                                      like the syllables of rain.

                                   Between two of your letters

                                             you slipped in

                                     a page as white as noon,

 

this is where we shall paint

                             our bright orange tango through life.

                                 The horizon of your hands—

                                                sundown

                                     on my shoulder-valley,

                                 what do we name ourselves?

 

Turn off the lights, darling

we will practise how to never

                                     step on each other’s toes

 

and yet learn their softness by heart

here

 

                               and

 

                                                               there

 

                                          My arm

a question mark around your waist,

we will measure our steps with summer haibuns

 

                               This is how we will answer the night —

    arms swaying to the secret rhythm of stars,

                              our banalities gift-wrapped with laughter.

Debmalya Bandyopadhyay loves exploring the world with any tool he finds, be it his degree in mathematics or his affair with poetry. His hobbies and interests are as scattered and varied as his dreams.