A Hand is the First Thing One Gives to Another

by Sutapa Chaudhuri (February 2016)

Lies inform

the leftover caresses.


Arteries clog

with unwanted truths—


the veins of life

grow thin and brittle;


slow but sure,

like the dark phone lines


that crisscross

the overhead skies


in set geometric patterns,

blood too coagulates


beneath the suppurating skin.

Heavy and burdensome,


loneliness solidifies,

pressing like a slab of stone


on wheezing chests, vital air

absent in asphyxiated lungs.


Sleepless, the night wakes—

searching for traces of life


in phantom selves and

fragmented relations


trying to find meaning

in the age-old axiom.




Sutapa Chaudhuri has two poetry collections — Broken Rhapsodies and Touching Nadir. My Lord, My Well-Beloved is a collection of her translations of Rabindranath Tagore’s songs.



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