1. There is an old theatre,
By the end of the road.
And people don’t go there anymore
For fear of catching diseases.
2. We share secrets, Royina,
Every night. In whispers. Over the phone.
You tell me you don’t like chocolates.
I tell you I embarrass myself at times.
You tell me there is a spring inside you
And you are afraid it’ll flow away
If you let it.
I tell you, I have a ledge beside a road
And people walk by it, on their way to
Office. But no one notices me
Even if I wave at them, with a smile.
3. Our shared secrets make a world of their own.
Where you and I are both barred from
Your father poses for photographs,
Even on his way to work. My father
Stands in line, half-covering his face
To buy tickets to see his favourite actor.
You have a filthy mouth.
I have burnt lips, from holding the truth
In my mouth, for too long.
4. Royina, you told me, you have a seagull in your soul.
That wishes to fly, from shore to shore.
That night was a little too silent
And I wanted to do anything, to fill it with words.
So I told you, I hate dates
That end on an epitaph.
I told you, you look like an oil painting
When you wear white.
5. We share so many secrets, Royina.
Yet remain so distant. Maybe, that is why
Locker rooms are always cold.
And smell of sweat, on metal.
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.