by Kousik Adhikari
I have picked eighteen arrows
Lying helpless in my dumb garden,
All snake-tongued; women after puberty,
Till then a triumphant sob keeps
Me, awakened till the night arms
To an aged witch, walking naked
On tattered stick,
These nights will make me mad!
Sitting on my ancient bed
I taste only the toothless kisses
Of dark, bargaining hard with my peace,
Nobody knows when the rain
Shall wash these sobs?
Even in sleepless dream
I feel arrows spilling, counting blood,
Blood’s nurturing saplings,
Blood’s running blue like cool heaven,
No, I can’t bear this torment longer!
I can’t bear these ancient arrows wrecking
Vengeance on me!
Resolving to venture in garden
In one night, I saw
What mystery is there!
Till that night I turned into woman’s dress
At my bed,
I can no longer bear to see them-
Ladies, girls, daughters sobbing over
And my eighteen arrows soaking blood
Form the mad earth dancing and dancing
Around the bloody red sun!
Editors Note on Arrows of Blood
Arrows of Blood is not the first piece Kousik Adhikari has had published in Eastlit. The October 2013 issue featured two poems by him. The poems were The Story and In Your Town.