My pillow is drenched in coconut oil, sweat 

I am parched in this June heat 

when she comes, water and lantern in hand 

Didimoni, how did you know? 

the hurricane candle and its shadow 

her crescent face 

rajkumari, princess 

my hands in her hands, 

thick gold bangle cold against skeletal wrists 

the moon peeks behind her eyes 

onek boro hou, become someone; 

marry a good man, study, carry a knife, 

lines on her forehead from praying, tell me, didimoni, do you

pray for me? The first one, 

you have known me longer than I have known you

be cruel 

your wide-eyed black and white photograph looks

more like me than mother, we share our honest eyes 

when they come for you, and they will 

do not forgive 

do not be your mamuni 

how do I confess that I am 

afraid, I am afraid 

Do not leave me here 

I sleep in fear, be cruel,

I pray.

Aahir Mrittika is a Bengali writer and activist from Dhaka, Bangladesh. They are studying biological sciences and poetry at Bennington College, Vermont.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *