Poems by Trijita Mukherjee



I will Never be the Other



I will never be the Other

A mirror image

The ayina reflects Mother 

Born of the same womb

She from mine, I from her

The umbilical cord never severed

The umbilical cord never severed

She from mine, I from her-

Born of the same womb

The ayina reflects Mother

A mirror image

I will never be the Other




How to Grieve



When you have been beaten 

over and over and over and over 


A thrashing with a whip made of words 

that have lashed out on your back and front

bosom marked red 

with the fine ends of a split tongue–

(love is another name for vengeance that has lasted beyond 27 years) 

Grieve, mother


What can I give you but my self

Dripped in your amniotic fluid


with your songs of rivers overflowing in the rain

and tales that bring nights of dreamless sleep 


I stand in the shadows waiting for your birth

as you awaken a Phoenix

The embers of the fires in which they burn you, 

dying out even though the winds of being

try to keep them alive. 


these fires will die. 

There will be flowers and mangoes

From your father’s garden, 

Bhootu running after cats

And I dozing on a hammock

Fall, only to be caught in your arms. 

Remember this

In an endless darkness of a night that refuses to see the dawn.




There is a Photograph of Her 



Wearing a printed tshirt, boyfriend jeans, and large, square spectacles

She is smiling. Perhaps she is happy to be captured

Little does she know how precious liberty would seem, 27 years later 

She has long hair that have not yet known the jarring sharpness of scissors

Or the fingers of the only man in the world. She is smiling 

Her period has just gotten over and she is relieved to not be bleeding anymore

She doesn’t yet feel the scalpel running on her abdomen, her womb filled with tumours, removed 

A doctor forgets to suture the skin correctly.

Foolish young woman, under delusions of happiness– what does she know of life. 

As life brings

Aches throughout her body, relishing the crawling pain in her legs, 

pressing her fingers along the veins, making love to them. 

She wakes up in the morning, her fingers frozen– 

stones for knuckles that won’t break against the other palm. 

She has discs on her spine that have enlarged on their own accord, biting into her nerves. 

She limps her way around the house, picking up unwashed clothes and scattered screams of agony in whispered tones;

No one wants to know of her pain.




Trijita lives in Kalyani and is caught between the promises of a city and small town. She likes Simon and Garfunkel, poetry, and cooking.

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