The Body, written by Ipsita Banerjee at

The Body

The Body

written by: Ipsita Banerjee



The body lies on a steel table
All around it people stand
Scrubbing, cleaning, harvesting
As in fruits from an orchard.

Embalmed and calmed
I see you as you walk away
Your hands in your pockets
What is it you’re whistling?

That smell, I think I know it
I can’t get it off my mind
Or around my thoughts.

Those dreams I thought
I never would have,
The cadaver floating away
In a sea of faces long gone

“This is how it is”, you smile
With no hint of sorrow
“This is the way of the world, see?
Your cares are just illusions.”

Are these illusions too?
The sound of your voice in the dark
Calling my name
Only because you wanted to?

My hands now manning the oars
“A little to the left”, you used to say
“both hands must pull together
If you want to go straight”.

So am I going straight?
My hands have unequal power
Water leaks from eyes
That told you I would never cry.

But cry I did. Like a child,
Like man whose roof is snatched
In the middle of a storm.
I stand where I always stood.

Here in this room
Naked in my aloneness
With you in my head for company
And the body I visit again and again.

In the cold hospital room
Where time stands still.
And I wait for it to speak.
To my restless soul.

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