Srishti Dutta Chowdhury is the Charles Wallace Scholar for Creative Writing in the University of Edinburgh (2016) and a Masters student of Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University. She works as the Prose editor for Moledro Magazine. She has been just finished editing a chapbook that will be sent for publication shortly. She has been published at TFQM, EPW, Visual Verse, Coldnoon Travel Poetics, Bangalore Review, Muse India, the Norwich Radical, Kindle, etc. Besides poetry, she is also an avid translator.
how to lose a cat
no longer perturbing how mother
can spew truths, twenty a minute, like
how i failed to fetch her finger from the station,
how i must accommodate dinner conversations with
the father, like how unspooling her threads lead to bad blood about
old cousins, the dead brother, one aunt molly and that night
i wanted to be a hero. we all know how that ended, in canned soup and
exacting the first broken tooth. a sink of bad blood.
no longer doubt my mother combs truth out
like obstinate lice, alternating care and force like gran’s
mixer-grinder. like her varicose beseeching me to let
open the river, like it is normal. or what it is.
having a detective for a mother is work. not for her
service pistol that killed the cat. much less for her complaints, like how
how she left me a heap of white, piss stain on a cushion,
one scar. i could be the hero but
it was my hand it was one shot
the father looms large
tell me where
once in a while, biris feel like rain in the mouth. that’s your answer.
the first quiet sunday after above water. that’s not your question.
several intimate winters after, this acid. when sex feels right, i dial across the country.
sounds knock over a part of memory, you are never at the right place.
i cannot surprise you with every sentence. you can take a hike.
close to the quay, our mahogany bed still soft as grain, 5 by 7. this ear extends to the shore. little bits.
cheese crackers and a quotidian sense of belonging.
don’t blame the seagulls for bad wood.
nobody knows the right way to wipe blood. rasp or no rasp. starboard to driveway.
july never ends, my lines
how disturbing the thought of climbing trees to pick one
and slowly stripping to the wind.
how lifting up the skirt, the crime scene evokes the picture of calm. fence by the sea, wooden
chair by the door, a book halfopen by a thigh. this is suicide. the need of which is met in this word and how.
how to slake my disembodied appetite, how to draw the line. my writing is flawless surface. cut in to find nothing. bones.
so much transience cannot find its semblance in record, i let it sail.