1. Our goddess lives under a banyan tree
Deep in the forest. She paints
And sings songs, to put herself to sleep.
2. Royina, your dad paints too.
Tuesday evening, he paints skies
And at the dinner table, you wonder
Why he has blue on his throat.
Wednesday, he paints the sun.
His fingers are red with the flames.
He doesn’t read letters addressed to him
Because he’s afraid
Of burning them black.
Friday, he doesn’t paint.
Just sits by the lake, on a secluded bench.
Feeding pigeons. And hearing them coo.
3. Royina, remember the boy who held you
Last time you allowed yourself
To be kissed?
He played a guitar, you told me.
And he had long thin fingers, which fluttered,
From string to string.
He wrote you a letter when you left.
And you folded it eight times. Then put it
In your pocket. Tell me, Royina,
Did you put it in your heart too?
4. What is it with creative people, Royina?
and the guitarist
and the painters.
Do they look at you like you are the magic you are?
Do they tell you, no, you’re not
Who you think you are.
There are so many shades under your skin.
Let me peel off your inhibitions,
And I’ll show you.
5. Royina, their letters never reach you.
And they wonder why,
Homes are still called addresses.
Born in 1993, Nilesh Mondal has lived most of his life in the small town of Asansol. An undergraduate in engineering by choice, he stumbled onto poetry by chance. His works have been published in various magazines and e-journals like The Bombay Review, Café Dissensus, Muse India, Inklette, Kitaab, Coldnoon Travel Poetics, etc.
He currently works as a writer for Terribly Tiny Tales and Thought Catalog, as prose editor for Moledro Magazine, and as an intern at Inklette. His first book of poetry, Degrees of Separation (Writers Workshop), is scheduled for release in 2017.