This Stranger in Me

by Bibhu Padhi (August 2016)

As soon as I begin to look for it,

someone says, “It’s too early.”

Someone, who I thought

was always there, behind sun

and night, covered me

like skin, now steals into

my lightness and transparency:

I think I feel it inside me.

I remember the lines I had read

somewhere, “There are

no coincidences.” Could it be

true? I think that is what

everything is. And hence,

I ask myself again, “Who is

this moving inside me?,

even as someone says “It’s

too early to ask.” And so,

I feel the burden of the body

and name, the numerous

calculations of the mind,

the humiliation of defeat

in the face of my ancestors,

the great sources of mercy.

I ask, “Is this what it needs—

this tree, these branches, these

leaves, this mind?” When shall

it be known to me, how many

more years and centuries? And

therefore, I only wait for my

long-distance answer to this

stranger moving inside me,

but as if it carried me, wanted to

tease all my restless jealousies,

my doubts and complacencies.

I imagine, to know is to miss,

for such knowledge would

quickly be heard by someone

who would only say, “Don’t

think. It’s always too early.”




Bibhu Padhi’s tenth book of poems, Midnight Diary, has just been published. He lives with his family in Bhubaneswar, India.


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