After Oedipus / Basudhara Roy

This earth is parched.

Its sins are fissures that will
with tales of betrayal
scrape your feet
if you walk heedless.

Under its armpits
the anthills of lust 
weigh hard this season.

Some planet’s mangalsutra
slid off her clavicle here
and she de-orbited,
colliding with another.

The ensuing fire devoured the trees, 
consumed two whole rivers
and thirsty still, it wrung
the earth like a garment
and drunk its moisture
to the last drop.

All dwellers have left the land.
The last ashes from hearths
have been licked away by the wind.

A poem arrives at times
like a stray monkey unfed for days,
the fear of mockery
like cataract
looming large
in its eyes.

Basudhara Roy teaches English at Karim City College affiliated to Kolhan University, Chaibasa. Drawn to gender and ecological studies, her four published books include a monograph and three poetry collections. Her recent works are available at Outlook India, The Dhaka Tribune, EPW, Madras Courier and Live Wire among others.

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