Arrows of Blood

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

Their male-dead,

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.

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