Petrol bombs like ripe oranges
In the hands of the men
Walking along the death valley.
A red river passes along
Calm as the poesy of Radha
Forceful as the nightly love of Krsna.
Petrol bombs like love-diamonds
Thrown with the beauteous force of miners of Africa.
Nights lit up with diamonds
Fires lit up like Diwali
Corpses lay about like feasts of Thanksgiving.
And guns, guns like shit-machines
Of gorgeous animals
It’s a festival of blood
It’s a festival of ripe oranges
I walk in this alley of death
Feasting on blood
Feasting on human meat.
February reveals its deep mystery
Bodies of the dead
Have come together in a pristine art form
The drains will be searched for the dead
The crevices of birdnests will be searched
The tandoor will be opened out.
Yeh aeb ishq yeh bair ishq
This bitter love, this hateful love
My work is love, my name is love
I come here today
To drink your blood
And eat ripe oranges.
I walk through the dead
Besmirching my face with blood.
Atreyee is a poet, writer and anthropologist who teaches at the Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, at Sonipat, Haryana. She is currently conducting research on the Bhakti tradition of Krishna worship in the Braj region of Uttar Pradesh.