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Poem: Laitumkhrah

By Robin S Ngangom

No one looks at dark memorials
standing through lonely rain, their heads
trusting the sky’s emaciated shoulders,
no one will stop to look at the dead.

The greeting sparrows were snubbed in the morning,
and no one bothers about fresh loaves
walking about in dirty foam, or remembers
the madman who used to send messages to the sky
from the local post-office.

This is the strange town
which has come up in the world, with its
shabby Saturdays and vulgar make-up, congested
with lips reeking of politics, its yellowing oranges
and shops opening their slow provocative eyes,
its streets with their cheap perfumery
perversely detaining suburbanite followers.

I want to go back to its winter, its monotonous
rain brushing the window-pane, just because
it made much of a foolish boy who loved
to throw away its hours and knew its quiet cottages.
I want to walk its midnight to waiting straw beds,
through its gates opened by rain, and outrage
its sullen homes with an illicit love.
I want to return to its buried drinking nests
smelling of smoke and pathetic camaraderie,
anticipating their thrilling pastimes
arranged by the local police.

I want to dispute this town’s memory,
and make it look for me in vain.

Picture Credit: Kuheli Biswas Das

Robin S Ngangom is a bilingual poet and translator who writes in English and Manipuri. He has three books of poetry in English and his poems have appeared in The New Statesman, Planet: the Welsh Internationalist, Verse and The Literary Review.


For more stories, read Café Dissensus Everyday, the blog of Café Dissensus Magazine.

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