If You Saw My Armour / Atreyee Majumder

If you saw my armour
You would think me a knight
For I am frightened of the enemy
On the other side.
I have travelled a thousand years
Beside kings and consorts
In them I flourished
My flood
A flood of fire
A flood of reason
A flood of love
I am aflood
With love for you.

But here I must rest
I am tired of the mountainous home
The angry sea
The metallic dam
Hydro-power they call me
If you saw my armour
You would hide me
In the night of the ocean.

Come play.
Come out into my restless bosom
Stillness is my utter shame
In my youth I giggle into the king’s chamber
In advancement, I grow into the sovereign’s potbellied minister.
I have travelled into your mass of hair
I have leapt onto the lonesome night
I have fat arms now
I must rest.

Rest in the ocean.
My dear utter angry friend
My murky sandbank loves
My kings and footsoldiers
And jealous lovers
And chessboxes
Bare thighs
They die one by one
It is an endless trudge into death
I long for it.
I long to die
And unfold into your salty arms.

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.

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