The Unfinished Man

He dreams about a blue house
With a red roof
And mangoes that burn
Like hundred-watt bulbs
In his backyard

He has been dreaming about them
Ever since he banged his head
Against a cross-beam
In his father’s garage
(He had not reached puberty)

He dreams about a blue house
Where the night disrobes
In a slow strip tease. Where dawn
Slips silently under bolted doors spilling
Her load of gilt-edged mail

Where fear does not coil, uncoil
In the belly
Like a thousand vipers
Where shadows do not cast
Dark glances in doorways at dusk

Where clocks do not echo
The heart’s silence
Ticking away into oblivion
Where mangoes are in season
All the mellifluous year round

Ah sometimes his mind goes blank
He fights the dark in the dark
Hoping for something drastic
A blow to the head perhaps
To jump-start his brain

Tonight he is fighting again
Against the din of consciousness
The dogs are stripping the night
To the bone. The flower in his brain
Is withered

The mangoes are slowly becoming stone

Shimanta Bhattacharya is our own apparition.


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