Saturday, 8 October 2016

No Traces Left - Rajathi Salma

There are objects
everywhere in this room.

Vases await
the visitor’s gaze.

This bed, which reminds me
of pregnancy
and fills me with fear,
is the weapon my Master wields.

Why can’t this stage mirror,
playing host to my image,
chat with me for a while?

The electric fan, though,
is tricky enough to keep me
from fleeing this room
in search of breeze.

The windows
bring in nothing
from the outside world
these days.

When I rock the crib,
I recall
for no reason at all:

The honey I sipped
through a strange flower’s stem;

the almond fruit
I stole, just this one time,
from Chinnani’s garden;

The time I ate a poisonous root,
mistaking it for a tamarind stalk.

Taj—a child who peered too close
while I sharpened my pencil,
got her face gashed and wept—
is mother of three now,
and supplies milk.

The endless loneliness
of the barren old woman
in a white sari.

What refuge remains for a woman
whose traces are wiped clean?

For whom will the morning sun
dawn white on the low sky?

Even as those who are afraid,
and those who are ignorant,
of death, are dying still,
I have a strange dream:
There’s a newspaper story
of my being raped by some men
while I was walking alone on the road.

This life—impossible to pursue,
with a myriad of lifeless objects
and one man—
goes on regardless,
inside the same room.

Rajathi Salma (born 1968) India
Translated by Kalyan Raman
Source: Peony Moon

1 comment:

Please keep your comments relevant and free from abusive language. Thank you.