The Question, poetry by Prabhanjan K. Mishra at

The Question

The Question

written by: Prabhanjan K. Mishra


Thrown between us
it sulks on the makeshift table
beside the sandwiches, water bottle.
Saying ‘Bon voyage!’, friends have left.

The train takes a breather
on the outskirts of the city
in absolute silence,
like sensing a premonition.

At intervals, its hydraulics
sigh like our desolation.
A yellow sun smoulders atop,
sending down sweltering hot breaths.

Half-built unoccupied structures
oppress us from track sides,
gaunt and reticent,
heavy with sulk.

I open gift packs: a double bed-sheet,
a book on marriage harmony, condoms.
I feel a taste of rusted iron
settling biliously on my tongue.

You look like an unfocused mask,
your nose, inscrutable Cleopatra.
You let your hair down, an asp
uncoils out of that lovely fall.

I want to shift and nudge
the question, but it looks
swollen and sullen.
I decide – let it be.

The sun moves down the sky, it
blushes with a baby-pink rouge;
the train’s hydraulics have stopped sighing,
apparently, released from strangleholds.

Your face is still an ominous blur,
an uncertain future.
The question sulks on the table,
asking, “Will you, or won’t you?”

I feel tired, the halted train
lethargic and hot, sighing often.
The faceless landscape
feels oppressed, abandoned.

Prabhanjan K. Mishra

Prabhanjan K. Mishra

Prabhanjan K. Mishra, poet/writer, lives in Mumbai, India. Publishers - Rupa & Co. and Allied Publishers Pvt Ltd have published his three books of poems - VIGIL, LIPS OF A CANYON, and LITMUS. His poems have been widely anthologized by publishers – Rupa & Co, Virgo Publication, Penguin Books, Adhayan Publishers, Authorspress, Poetrywala, Prakriti Foundation, Hidden Book Press, Penguin Ananda etc. Awards won - Vineet Gupta Memorial Poetry Award, JIWE Poetry Prize. Former president of Poetry Circle (Mumbai), he edited this association’s poetry journal POIESIS. He edited a book of short stories by the iconic Odia writer in English translation – FROM THE MASTER’s LOOM, VINTAGE STORIES OF FAKIRMOHAN SENAPATI. He is widely published in literary magazines; lately in Literary Vibes and Ourpoetry Archive (both web journals), and the latest issue of Kavya Bharati.
Prabhanjan K. Mishra

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