Purnendu Patri
Trans. by Jayinee Basu

4. (from Kathapakathan Vol. 2)

Wasn’t I telling you one day about that incredible vision, an eyewitnessed shipwreck, I swear, a loose kid’s live ship, not a wave or anything in sight, as if the sun is rising, easy innocence, a fiery mountain asleep for two and a half hundred thousand years, one inch, two inch, seven inch twenty, inch, one hundred, two hundred, the way love increases while talking, the way love increases blood and flesh as tall as a giraffe, in that way, when was the last time you saw a nightmare, when was the last time you were pierced on a hospital table, in an insane boat in the sky, faster than Jean Pierre’s horses escaping like lightning over the earth past the earth, compared to this shipwreck none of it is lethal, I don’t know if you’ll believe me, hugging the sunken ship close to my chest, breaking and breaking, building and building, river water red in shame, having been awoken by two and a half hundred thousand years of hunger is it possible to fall asleep through mere kisses and embraces?



Purnendu Patri (1933-1997) was an Indian poet of Bengali origin. His books of poetry include Ek Muttho Rode (1951), Shobder Bichhana (1972), and Tumi Eley Shurjodoy Hoy (1976).