Sudeep Sen


Bharatanatyam Dancer

Spaces in the electric air divide themselves
in circular rhythms, as the slender
grace of your arms and bell-tied ankles
describe a geometric topography, real, cosmic,
one that once reverberated continually in
a prescribed courtyard of an ancient temple

in South India. As your eyelids flit and flirt, and
match the subtle abhinaya in a flutter
of eye-lashes, the pupils create an
unusual focus, a sight only ciliary muscles
blessed and cloaked in celestial kaajal
could possibly enact.



some things, I knew,
were beyond choosing:

didu — grandmother — wilting
under cancer’ s terminal care.

mama — my uncle’ s — mysterious disappearance —
ventilator vibrating, severed
silently, in the hospital’ s unkempt dark.

an old friend’ s biting silence — unexplained —
promised loyalties melting for profit
abandoning long familial presences of trust.


Couched on crimson cushions,
pink bleeds gold

and red spills into one’ s heart.
Broad leather keeps time,

calibrating different hours
in different zones

unaware of the grammar
that makes sense.

Only random woofs and snores
of two distant dogs

on a very cold night
clears fog that is unresolved.

New plants wait for new heat —
to grow, to mature.

An old cane recliner contains
poetry for peace — woven

text keeping comfort in place.
But it is the impatience of want