I travel Aeons in the matter of a coffee-sip.
Coffee, whose dark brew reminds me of Ethiopia
where I was once a beggar-girl
sleeping by the steps of the olde church.
They came to get me in the dead of the night
And found my body cold
I had left the premises before the King ordered my head.
I travel Aeons in a wind-gust
across the northern mountains
The enemy terrain.
Searching for forbidden love –
a gaunt soldier that speaks with death
as I serenade him from the vineyard
where I am, what they call,
I am Queen of the Aeon
Of Holy Wars and Fucked-up Peace.
I sit by my coffeemug and wait for
News of Fresh Blood.
Blood is spilt across the pages
Of the New York Times.
War for peace, freedom, dignity
They say, damned lies all.
I travel across muffled breaths
Picking up morsels of dry bread, putrid soup.
For it is a cold February.
And I walk on foot on the snowpath
Alongside gun-wearing guards.
I am refugee here, sovereign there.
My blood spills with whooping cough a bit,
Or is it cholera? Or some tropical heartbreak that sucks blood?
The Aeons come, unshackling my coarse hands
In this solitary cell,
Where I am a Political Prisoner
An Extreme kind of woman.
And I pray by dusk to the little girl who picked flowers from my garden,
Somewhere in another world.
Atreyee Majumder is a writer and anthropologist based in Bangalore.