RIContest: The shadow and the mirror: A short tale of a poem / Ipshita Mitra

Stillness is the only loyal companion in purgatory.

Purgators do not get to choose companions, anyway.

Both were artists.

She wrote bad poetry. He drew crooked lines.

Both were artists.

She liked dancing in the rain. He blew out rings of smoke in the winter air.

Both were artists.

She had a breathless laughter whose rings touched the invisible rainbow. His sobs echoed the purrs of a frightened kitten stuck high up in a tree.

Both were artists.

She made halogen lanterns of dreams and desires and clapped her hands with glee when these little lanterns soared in the sky like glowworms with short lifespans. He made paper boats and locked them in a glass jar like bonsai.

Both were artists.

When angry, she screamed and slammed doors. In a fit of rage, he lost his voice and left the door open.

Both were artists.

She added more milk than tea leaves in her chai. An Espresso shot was his dearest companion.

Both were artists.

Many doors opened today. The mirror, the trailing shadow, the self – a whimper of a collision.

Only, he stood with his mouth half open, thinking, ‘Was there room for reconciliation in purgatory?’



A self-confessed chai addict, Ipshita Mitra likes to believe she is in an unrelenting love affair with books. Melancholia and nostalgia comfort her soul at times of severe helplessness and restlessness. Farida Khanum and Roberta Flack sing her lullabies every night. She likes to write letters and draw horrible doodles. She has been wanting to buy a typewriter since 1989.

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