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On Our Seventh Anniversary; Cat's Tongue, House No. One Hundred and Ten by Kushal Poddar

On Our Seventh Anniversary

A frayed postman

wearing a threadbare flat cap

delivers a letter you posted

seven years ago.

I offer him a dream.

He chooses coffee instead.

He leaves; I open the envelope,

and grasshoppers

from the heartland green 

hop out of the crease within.

I remember - we've declared 

them to be the national beings

of our Republic of Mind.

You are asleep. I whisper,

"They are alive."

Cat's Tongue, House No. One Hundred And Ten

The lane makes a bottleneck.

We have a name for the narrow isthmus;

we forgot that; perhaps the lane's purpose

is to pour the world into the house at the end,

No. One hundred and ten.

I desire to apprehend if you still live there,

keep the books you borrowed from me

decades ago on an evening remembered

for hidden feelings, fog muffled streetlights

casting unstable shadows of us on my celadon wall.

My mother coughed and coughed as you depart.

I recall you bent, hands fisted, books in your tote.

You didn't acknowledge that you would not return, 

no one could. We stopped and watch a starling caught

in the orange cat's maw. The cat spoke 

with its mouth full. I didn't know the tongue.

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