Kāthā: Unheard Female Voices from Ramayana

 

This is the final installment of a trilogy composed by Somrita Mishra, Aishwarya Dasgupta and Susmita Paul, with illustration from Subarnarekha Pal, who have come together to revive some previously unheard female voices from the Ramayana. Read them, hear them, re-think with them.

katha title illustratiion

Vaidehi

Susmita Paul

They are undecided about the way in which the fire will be lit. Some suggest that a pyre be built. Then they can look up to me as I stand tall on the pedestal of the pyre. Some suggest that there should be a sitting arrangement in the middle, so that the fire can surround me. It would look poetic, says the court poet. Whatever may be the fire arrangement, the washer man wants it to be telecast across the three worlds. “Then the milk will become separate from the water!” he had said, informed Urmila. Since the building of the pyre has started, no one has seen his wife anywhere. I overheard the maids whispering, “She feared being thrown into the pyre by her husband! What a shame!” Amidst all this commotion, he has not come across the guest quarters where I have been shifted since the last court meeting.

My first maid is of the opinion that this is a conspiracy that is being hatched against me. I yawn. She continues dusting. With her back turned to me, she says, “Which sane husband will put his wife in fire because of a stupid washer man’s comment? I say, memsahib, there is plenty of dirt in this curry!” I leap out of my bed as I remembered that I have left the curry uncovered. I planned to send it to him for lunch. I arrange the cushions and sink into them. No point in rushing to the kitchen now. The cat will have a good lunch today. “…and then there is also the question of an heir.”

O, I am getting so forgetful!

I need to send that letter to him. That is why I had planned to cook the curry. Without the curry, a letter will seem too intimate. Now what? May be it’s better to wait a couple more days till all this fetish over proving purity is over.

Gosh! I do not understand what these men want. That dupe wanted flesh but didn’t force himself upon me. And my husband wants to be a good king. He wants to put my flesh to test  so that there is no riot in the kingdom.

The grapes look luscious.

I pick one and put it in my mouth. I ask the maid to leave. She looks at me deeply and says in a ghoulish voice, “If only women could be left to themselves.”

As the clicking of her bangles cross the door, pass through the corridor and chime past the guarded entrance, I suddenly remembered the beautiful fish shaped eyes looking at us from behind the bushes. I  look vaguely at the grapes.

***

I look vaguely at the grapes as Lava and Kusha compete against each other over who could eat more. It has been years and yet no one called to check on me. No one. Not even the pigeon in my courtyard that used to follow me everywhere.

It is a pity.

Life in this hermitage is pretty peaceful. Well, for the most part I am allowed to be myself. I remember my childhood days in my father’s palace- carefree and self-absorbed.

I remember clearly it was the eighth day of the month of Ashwin.1. We were running around in the garden, competing against each other to see who can pluck the most fruits from the trees. Clambering up and down the trees, everyone was hoarding plenty. I stood in front of the grape vines for some time. It was virtually impossible to pluck grapes without someone’s assistance or breaking them completely.

I looked around.

My sisters were at the other corner of the garden. I burrowed my feet in the ground. I could feel roots growing out of them. I closed my eyes and focussed on my breathing. I could see a burning white light between my brows furrowing through the air. As I dropped to the ground, I held a bunch of the most luscious grapes that I had ever seen.

I felt a gaze.

Urmila’s voice pierced through, “Vai-de-hi, Vai-de-hi… where are you?”

I jumped across the fence and into the courtyard.

I ran straight into my father’s chamber across the hall.

There was no secure place where I could hide these.

I turned around and ran towards the official courtroom. I knew a place where no one would find these grapes.

I held the table with the bow carefully with one hand and hid the grapes underneath it.

I felt that gaze again.

I quietly turned around and met it.

My father was standing at the corner, looking at me. I could see that he was trying to appear only amused. I couldn’t understand what else he had in that smile.

Urmila’s voice, “Vai-de-hi…” snapped me out of further thought.

I put my finger on my lips as I smiled at my father and ran out of the room with a spring in my steps.

***

Lava and Kusha immediately spoke in protest.

“She is not only our mother, but also our Guru. You cannot challenge her without confronting us!”

“Guru?”, he asked surprised.

“Yes. Though we have been largely trained by Sage Valmiki in our military powers, it was Ma who first made bows and arrows from sticks in the woods and taught us how to focus and hit grapes ten feet away.”

“She is our first Guru. She taught us how to meditate and levitate.”

Ma helped us learn how to pronounce ‘Om’”.

Quietly I said, “Stop Lava and Kusha.”

Lava and Kusha looked at me in disbelief.

Having taught them to stand up for what is right all my life, I shouldn’t have stopped them. Having taught them to stand by what is right all my life, I needed to stop them.

I could feel the roots growing from the underground. I could feel it.

“It is time”, I said.

 

—————————–

1 In the myth of the Akal-bodhon (literally translates as untimely awakening), Ram prays to Goddess Durga to help him defeat Ravana in the inauspicious month of Ashwin in the Lunar Calendar (India). On the eighth day of Ashwin, Goddess Durga appeared in front of Rama, pleased by his devotion.

Susmita writes in English and Bengali. Her works in English are upcoming/published from/in Indie Blu(e) Press, “Headline Poetry and Press”, “Montauk”, “Learning and Creativity” and Plato’s Caves Online. Her published books are Poetry in Pieces (2018) and Himabaho Kotha Bole (When Glaciers Speak) (2019). She is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of The Pine Cone Review. Her personal website is www.susmitapaul.org 

Kāthā: Unheard Female Voices from Ramayana

This is the second installment of a trilogy composed by Somrita Mishra, Aishwarya Dasgupta and Susmita Paul, with illustration from Subarnarekha Pal, who have come together to revive some previously unheard female voices from the Ramayana. Read them, hear them, re-think with them.

katha title illustratiion

Urmila

Aishwarya Das Gupta

I

Steels clashed, sticks cracked, whips sparked, hooves rattled, Mithila was fortified within the embrace of its fierce mothers and daughters who fought alongside the men. Urmila, literally the one endowed with the rippling beauty of the waves, came crashing on the enemy lines in gushing gales, breaking, and scattering away the remnants of the combatants.

Urmila, Janki’s right hand woman, second in line to the throne of Mithila, became what Sunaina could not- a human being, with a mind, body and most importantly, a heart, as wide as the oceans. The Kheer sagar of Vaikuntha had churned in twists and turns, channelling its bounty in the being of the one with the ripples of strength, it had dried up to a trickle to conspire in the conception of Urmila- the wave, whose lashing dance could wipe away evil, absorbing it into a web of nothingness.

A milky ocean became a maiden, a wave became a still dark hole, a ripple became a breathless slumber, a storm hibernated, locked away, forgotten. That’s how her story goes.

Steels clashed, sticks cracked, whips sparked, hooves rattled…

Days passed since that battle. Storm clouds darkened the sky of Mithila and faded away.

On a bright sunny morning, Ram, Purushottam, broke the sacred bow. The Pinaka lay in two pieces, although stringed, a bandaged wreck, the first of many. Sita was betrothed. So were Urmila, Mandvi and Shrutakirti.

Thus, the second in line to the throne of Mithila became the wife of Lakshman.

II

I crossed the threshold of Ayodhya

Prince Lakshman at my side

Shoulder to shoulder

Not as warriors,

Though.

The flower was yet to blossom.

I was just a bud.

Lakshman-

Ram’s brother,

(I must not take his name,

He is my swami after all)

Followed the steps of his Agraja,

His king.

The bud was left to wither.

Alone.

It’s been fourteen years.

The garden of mirth which returned in my dreams,

Has deflowered.

I was a warrior once.

The only war l got to fight was against

The dark monster,

Who resembled me,

Who visits me still

In my dreams.

I am waiting:

Like yesterday,

And the day before,

And the one before that,

To fight the war again.

I am waiting.

I wait.

III

“My sincere apologies. I can’t give in to your command Devi Nidra. My agraja sleeps and I must remain awake today and all the nights that follow for the next fourteen years to stand guard against the spells which the treacherous darkness of the long ratri may contrive against the Lord.”

“Your wish may be granted. But on one condition.”

“Pray tell.”

“I need a substitute. One who will do what you refuse to, on your behalf…”

“So shall you have. It’s the promise of a Raghuvanshi.”

 

IV

“I agree Swami. It’s the oath of a warrior and a wife.”

V

Steels clashed, sticks cracked, whips sparked, hooves rattled, Mithila was fortified within the embrace of its fierce mothers and daughters who fought alongside the men. Urmila, literally the one endowed with the rippling beauty of the waves, came crashing on the enemy lines in gushing gales, breaking, and scattering away the remnants of the combatants.

The milk of the Kheer sagar curdled next, turning into a sticky black crumble. The steel became heavy, and heavier still was the ground beneath her feet; the grassy meadow dried up; the patches of blood rose up in droplets gathering across the dark sky creating a mass of scarlet clouds. Her wiry hair resembled the untamed tresses of the Shiva, and her spirit willed to perform the Tandava on the storm-tossed terrain. But the steel became heavy, and heavier still was the ground beneath her feet. Yet, the waves welling within her soul could not be silenced, her fresh scars fuelled her, and she came crashing upon the enemy lines in gushing gales, repeating her past glories, rehearsing for the battles she was yet to fight.

It was dawn again and Prince Lakshman had taken his leave without bidding farewell, without a parting kiss on her forehead, without a final glance or a promise of prompt return.

 It was dawn again, and the warrior was tucked in plainly within the confines of her marital bed, her senses drowning deeper with every drop of opium which numbed her nerves and beckoned her to the battlefield where scarlet clouds gathered above a dried patch of grassland, where every war she fought was destined to be defeated. The vials of opium never dried, and the dasis tucked her cosily beneath her phantom fantasies, her bed was always taken care of and her body preserved with the greatest caution. She slept and drowned and dreamed and fought and slept and dreamed and fought again.

It was all she could do to keep her sister’s husband, the great King alive, it was all she could do to not make it to the pages of history, it was all she could do to immolate herself with opium and phantom fantasies.

It was all she could do.

VI

The dark chamber stays awake

I can hear their voices.

I can feel the arrows,

One, two, three…

(Fourteen?!)

All over my being.

I shake the walls of my cage.

The mirror is cracked.

I agree,

I agree my Lord

It’s the promise of a warrior

A wife?

I remember the colours-

Magenta, saffron, green, yellow.

I remember the sacred fire

Or was it a funeral pyre?

It should have been white

And white everywhere

And the mirror was intact then

Vermillion, Chandan, dhoop, deep

 

Yadidang Hridayang Mamah:

Tadidang Hridayang Tabah:

 

I was an ocean once,

A gushing gale swallowing all

The evil crossing my path.

The morning sun used to colour my

Glorious being with shades of

Brilliance.

But I sleep now,

Under the ocean of light

In the subterranean chambers of the darkest night,

My waves lash against the locked water-gates,

They howl and cry and writhe and shake,

But fail to wake up.

The storm stirs yet,

The storm stirs still,

It brews within the recesses of my

Storm tossed being

And so

Not knowing what else to do,

I keep my promise

And

Fight

Phantom battles

and

wait.

I wait.

 

Aishwarya Das Gupta teaches in Calcutta Girls’ College. She is a weaver of words who loves to recede into her bubble of silent dreams. She is an avid reader, lover of cinema and creative arts and if left alone to her own devices, may be found lingering under the shady bough of a lonely tree.

Kāthā: Unheard Female Voices from Ramayana

 

This is the first installment of a trilogy composed by Somrita Mishra, Aishwarya Dasgupta and Susmita Paul, with illustration from Subarnarekha Pal, who have come together to revive some previously unheard female voices from the Ramayana. Read them, hear them, re-think with them.

katha title illustratiion

 

Soorpanakha

Somrita Misra

I

I am Soorpanakha, the woman whose nose was cut off as punishment for desiring a man. You, the reader, have heard the stories of the men, the “his-stories”. You have read of me being a slut, who threw herself at a man, who refused to be the docile, dutiful woman. Today I will tell you my story, the “her-story” that you have not heard. I am an old woman with few years to live but before I die, I want to write my story, my truth. Nobody should have the right to snatch my tale, to usurp my narrative. So, hear my story dear reader. Hear my truth.

I was born as Meenakshi, the beautiful girl with fish shaped eyes. My mother refused to see me as an equal to my brothers, Ravana and Vibhisana; I was the unwanted and neglected girl who should have faded away into the shadows. But I refused to fade away; I refused to be overshadowed. I fought all the rules designed to confine and suppress me; I rebelled. In a fit of anger, I slashed at Ravana’s face with my hands and, furious, he labelled me “Soorpanakha”, the girl with sharp nails. My mother deplored my anger, my rebelliousness, and my desire to dominate. She threatened me, punished me, cajoled me; she repeatedly warned me that any girl as sharp-tongued and wild as me would have a brutal life. But no training or punishment could cow me into submission. I remained Soorpanakha, the girl with sharp claws.

II

I grew up to become a fiery and candid woman, calling a spade a spade, angering many a man with my sharpness. Everybody was convinced that Soorpanakha was incapable of love. No man could win her heart and no sane man could want her. But everyone was wrong. I too desired love; I too yearned for affection, both emotional and physical. The society I grew up in refused to grant physical desires to a woman; a woman was supposed to be sexually fertile but never desire sexuality. A woman was an object, a vessel to be owned and filled by man. I was the non-conformist, the woman who wanted emotional and physical satisfaction. I wanted to be desired by a man as an individual, as a unique and lovable woman. The society I lived in did not allow a woman to love or desire. But I wanted to both love and desire.

Many people believed and still believe that what happened to me was deserved by me. Perhaps, dear reader, you are of the same belief. It is so easy to blame a woman, to vilify her, shame her, and blemish her reputation. But did you, dear reader, pause to consider what act of mine could justify the grievous assault on my body? What act of any woman justifies her mutilation? My story, dear reader, will tell you the truth of that horrifying day; my tale will narrate my humiliation, my violation. You have been told that I brought my punishment on myself. Perhaps I did. Perhaps my life changed forever the day I saw them, the handsome and popular princes, Ram and Lakshman.

III

The day dawned clear and pleasantly cool. I wandered across my forest paths, as was my usual habit, trying to forget my mother’s dire words that I was a woman doomed to misery because of my violent nature. I had after all never forgiven Ravana for killing my husband just because he belonged to a different race. I regularly fought with Ravana and had yesterday injured him quite seriously. Furious and frustrated Ravana challenged me to find another “respectful” man who would marry me. Angry and grief-stricken, I had, since last night, taken to wandering the forests bordering my father’s kingdom. Today was a particularly beautiful day. As I wandered aimlessly, suddenly I saw three people eating ripe, succulent mangoes. Drawn to the smell of the fruit, I glimpsed a tall, handsome man sitting majestically apart from the other two, eating grapes. Seeing him I felt a strange fluttering in my heart. I felt the kernel of desire in my heart, buried after the death of my beloved Vidu, stir.

I approached him hesitantly and, to my utter surprise, he smiled at me. Shyly I spoke to him. He was pleasant and charming in his conversation and slowly we moved away into the clearing. I suppose you have guessed, dear reader, what happened next. I am not going to apologize for what happened. I was attracted to a man who reciprocated my affection and whatever happened afterwards was mutual. What baffled me was the coolness of Ram afterwards. He refused to recognize me or even acknowledge me. I might as well have been a woman for hired sex. Enraged I clawed his face and in a swift move his brother, Lakshman, cut off my nose. Bleeding profusely, I ran from there, horrified at the sheer cruelty of men. My bleeding face enraged my brother Ravana to commit another violent act on another helpless woman. A war began and our clan perished.

IV

Tell me, dear reader, what was my fault? What justified the cruel assault on me? Why was a mutual act seen as me hurling myself on Rama? Some writers went a step further and turned me into a desperate, characterless woman who, after Ram, seduced Lakshman. To what ends can male writers go to vilify and perjure a woman? These questions are yet to be answered for me. Our clan has been vanquished, my brothers are dead; I live on, an old, scarred woman who refuses to die without telling her story. I cannot subvert the epic narrative that has marginalized and shamed me. But I will never be forgotten or silent. The next time you read the Ramayana, be ready to hear my voice. I will be by your side every time you hear the story of Lord Ram; I will be the whispering doubt urging you to question the man’s truth. When you pray to the Lord Ram, remember what he and his brother did to a woman simply because she refused to bow down before male domination. I, Soorpanakha, will live on in every modern woman who refuses to submit to patriarchy, who charts her own path and wins. I am Soorpanakha and I am immortal.

 

 

Somrita Misra is Assistant Professor in the Department of English in Chanchal College, Malda, West Bengal. She is a Potterhead, a researcher in children’s literature and a thorough bibliophile.

Subarnarekha Pal is our resident artist, illustrator and Instagram specialist. She is an independent thinker and enthusiast and jams poetry with her friend. Amidst everything, she struggles to be an artist.

Poems by Yuan Changming

All That Glitters

Is not just gold, but also the teeth chewing

The bitterness of life at twilight; the bones

Excavated from a lost civilisation; the roof

Tiles glazed with the rain of last night; &

The rock standing firm in the gurgling stream

The broken mirror in the debris of history; &

The disk hung like a scarecrow in the garden

The wings of a raven flying in the storm; &

The coal close to a furnace; the forehead

Of my late father in my dream; as well

As the scales of a fish jumping out of water

Against the starlight; the glacier protruding

From an unknown peak among Rocky Mountains

Or, the eye looking beyond the darkness of tonight 

Roaming in Gaxyland   

Tired of standing still against the pandemic

I kill time by looking at a traditional

Chinese painting on my brand new iPad

Much enlarged, it appears like

A plain sheet of rice paper

Smeared with ink. I view it

In the presence of bonsai; I

Drop several thick strokes to the floor

Of history, leaving a few fine lines

Behind the sofa, & failing

To catch a colorless corner

Between black and white

It is a landscape newly relocated

Into my heart’s backyard. Then I sit

On my legs, meditating about

No light in the picture, no

      Shadow of anything, no perspective

As in hell. Isn’t this the art of seeing?

Standing Still for Survival

Long long before long ago, Earth

Was originally set within a koru

Unfurling at every antlike moment

Directly towards the sun, until

Now it is too overloaded

With evil spirits & viruses

To continue revolution as it

    Tries to return to itself

Yuan Changming grew up in an isolated village, started to learn the English alphabet in Shanghai at age nineteen, and published monographs on translation before leaving China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include eleven Pushcart nominations, nine chapbooks and awards, as well as publications in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) & Best New Poems Online, among 1,809 others across 46 countries. In early 2021, Yuan served on the jury for the 44th National Magazine Awards (best poetry category).

Poems by Elizabeth Conte

 

 

Teacher

You died

Was it a punch in the gut, or a tear at my heart?

The lost time between us was adrift

Somewhere out there…

In the universe my thoughts would come to you

Asking for you to reach out, hoping you would know

My words were strong, but my feelings deep

Both hurt you – I hurt you

You misconstrued, misrepresented me; my purpose for you

Souls in wanting do that

I was always supposed to ground you, remind you of the heart you let get cold, denying the purpose for your existence

You were meant for greatness, only in a way that was not so great

You were great to me…to many others you leave behind

The wisdom you obtained, the searching from the ends of the earth, if not the ends of your mind, were not lost on me

I wasn’t ready then

I’m ready now, searching for you

And you are gone

Without a word

You knew that, the cancer eating away the physical body that confined you

You died leaving me to wander the road you have paved

Alone in my solitude

 

Ahhh…you teach one last lesson

 

Whispers of a Soul

 

Sacred prayers

Longings of the heart screeching across the cosmos

Hidden beyond the darkness

Lost in realms of conscious reality

No one is listening; no one can hear

Only the shadows know the truth

Does his soul hear the calls of my sorrow?

Why must one bear the burden of knowing, while others live life blissfully ignorant?

There is no God of mercy, or of love

For no one would not want one to suffer such torment, or leave one to such inevitable longing

Is destiny so destined?

Or are there interceptions – a chance of one’s fate

Where whispers are heard

 

Mortality

Don’t despair, my son

Mortality is just a word

A meaning that holds no value

It touches me not

It worries far too many

It scalds you

 

I leave you with so many words; not enough wisdom

But spare me this…

Wake to the morning light

It’s the closest thing to God; the closest thing to me now

Breathe in the cool breath of the heavens

See the beauty of His reason

And worry not

For do as the birds who rejoice in song at the crack of dawn

Open your eyes and see what they gaze upon

A moment, a gift, a lifetime of memories that are only fleeting

Death only a door to another flight of our souls

 

 

She is a women’s fiction writer and poet who wants to create beauty for the mind.  She has written three novels, a collection of poems, and her work has been featured in Lost Coast Review & PennWriters. I was a regular contributor to the WFWA Industry Newsletter, and had my own column in OCWriters.com called Girl On Writing, before I launched a writing journal, WriterFairys, to help inspire writers get through the writing process.

Poems by Felipe Hendriksen

 

Future

 

So you want to become a tarot reader

And throw cards at strangers?

I won’t laugh, I promise:

I’d never laugh at you.

 

You want to drop out from law school

On your last year

And become a psychologist?

That’s okay, you do you.

I won’t judge you,

I’d never pass judgement on you.

 

You don’t know what to do with your life?

Me neither.

Actually, I’m more lost than you.

I know it doesn’t seem like it,

But we’re both adrift,

And I’d love to share the ride with you.

 

I wonder if you’ll ever be a mother.

I always thought that would be out of character.

But people change,

And you’re not 16 anymore.

So maybe you’d like to have a child eventually.

I know I don’t,

But who cares about me?

 

I can’t picture you married

Or really in love with a man,

An adult.

I know you had many boyfriends,

But the ring changes everything.

I wouldn’t like to see you walk down the aisle,

All in white,

Petals on the carpet,

The groom waiting for you,

Hotter than me,

Taller,

Slimmer,

With a bigger dick.

But I don’t have to worry about it:

You’d never invite me anyways.

 

Will you ever have wrinkles or white hair?

I don’t want to see that.

It’s not that I wouldn’t love your old you,

But to me you’ll always be 16,

And maybe that’s sick,

It’s definitely sick,

Because one day I’ll be too old,

And the thing will turn from cute to creepy.

Probably that day has come already,

But I’m only 24,

So maybe I shouldn’t worry too much.

Right?

 

Dead? You? No.

You cannot die.

At least not before me.

I’d hate to go to the funeral,

Full of strangers you loved more than me

Weeping for a woman only I really knew.

Besides, I’d have to visit you constantly,

And even I can tell that’s creepy.

 

2020 is ending and I don’t know

If you’re happy or sad,

Dead or alive,

Alone or engaged.

 

2021 is approaching.

Will anything change at all?

 

Excuse Me

 

It’s been too long and I’m tired

Of always being the one who fucks up everything.

 

I’d rather be normal:

Have friends,

A girlfriend,

Go to parties.

 

But I can’t, and it hurts.

Because being a stranger isn’t free,

And people make you pay for it.

People hate what they don’t understand,

So they hate me.

 

And I’m not special.

I’m just a creepy guy with glasses who likes to read,

A pseudo writer whose mind can only handle a few topics:

A trip I made too many years ago;

A girl I’m obsessed with;

Depression;

America.

 

I hope one day I can write better things,

Smarter things,

Things that don’t hurt anyone,

Especially me.

 

Ode on a Photo Taken Somewhere Around December 2008

 

A moment frozen in eternity,

A picture I’m sure no one remembers

But me.

A frame, a slice, a moment

Of a life that was never fulfilling

But wasn’t so bad at the time.

A still image drawn by Someone above,

Someone who knew

The occasion was going to mean something in the future.

 

Maybe it’s lost,

But I hope it survives

In some secret Facebook profile

Or a hidden flash drive, somewhere.

Maybe even in a CD,

Because that was the time of CDs,

Because I’m that old,

Because I’m hoping

She felt it was important to save the picture,

Not all pictures but that one,

The one she’s with me,

Awkwardly hugging,

The one I’m wearing a weird hat,

Those hipster, brown, Marxist hats

Only street artists wear.

 

It’s been years since I last saw that picture

And I’m hating myself now,

Because I didn’t print it

And now I can’t put it on a frame

With the other two we have together,

When we were too young to know

We didn’t like each other.

 

It was a weird time,

The one immortalized,

Because boys that age are shorter than girls,

12-year-old girls are too tall.

So she’s towering over me,

A symbol of what would come,

An allegory of what she was going to mean to me,

A metaphor of my future relationship with her,

Her making me feel minuscule

And fat,

Extremely fat,

And also ugly, and maybe too dark-skinned,

And poorly dressed.

Because she’s wearing sunglasses and a beanie,

And her breast is not as flat as it was the year prior,

And that’s starting to trouble me,

Because girls are becoming something different,

And I can’t face different,

Maybe I can’t stand different,

And my face in that picture shows

That everything’s changing

And I’m not having it.

 

And we’re both smiling:

She, because she’s becoming a beautiful woman and she knows it;

Me? I don’t know why the fuck I’m smiling,

Because life’s about to become real hard

And I should’ve known it.

 

In the end, it’s just a photo,

An old, forgotten photo

She definitely doesn’t remember

And that I had also forgotten

Until now.

And that’s really unfortunate,

Because from now on

I’ll always have it in my head,

Even if I know,

Deep down,

That she doesn’t deserve my attention anymore.

 

Why bother at all? Are we even the same people, after all these years? 

 

 

Felipe Rodolfo Hendriksen studies Literature at Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina. He currently lives in Quilmes.