Three Poems by Sanket Mhatre

Three Poems

The Shape of a Wound

I’m almost certain it’s there, somewhere
But it has shape-shifted, like a dune within
The barren wound bleeds –
memories when I gently press the surface of their skin
The wound is a shape of a good bye
An empty forced kiss that promised nothing
Gave nothing, as retribution
Or like the silence between abandonment and the first chaos after your return
An unfathomable well where all pain flows at night
The wound oscillates between fear and agony
Choosing the least painful of the two – and burns nevertheless
Or bursts like an uneasy time bomb inside the chest
Turning the pulse into a flame that spreads like forest fire
Engulfing the throat with evenings that turned darker than nights
The wound is a shape of a door you carved for early exits
Or an ex-lover’s poem found in a book
Quickening the heart beat while fear dripped in
An ink drop at a time
The wound smiles looking at the simplicity of its cure.
But Cure –
It has a different story to tell.

Poem 2

TWO MORNINGS

And all of a sudden, you appear
Like a starburst
Or a meteor on a dark night
Distilling past from present
And I’m caught unaware – like –
I could be smiling or listening to the chirp of birds
I could just be talking about this & that
And then suddenly, something happens when you write the first word
I start listening to the river within; I know you planted it there
I listen to all the voices deep within, like a prayer meet or something
It only takes a moment and a word to fuse all eternity
I become everything, under the sun –
A distant sky
A lonely bird
Sunlight through the window
The sweetest drop of a mango
Everything of everything -
All of all
Do you know
I live two mornings everyday
Two dawns
Two sunrises
Two heartbeats per heartbeat
I'm trying to decipher
which one is yours?

Poem 3

KARIGARS

We have become perfect ideas for each other
Finely sculpted reminiscences –
Karigars – we carve recollections, working on details
The petals on your black skirt
The scent in your hair
Thirsty edible evenings that changed their shade of rose
Engraving them with ‘What ifs’ and ‘If Only’
Knowing –
we’ll have to chisel it some more till it fills up those nine hours
The next day and the day after that
Which the ungrateful rain cleans up
Like a waiter cleaning the table
Finding it hard to remember each day –
what to remember next.
At times when -
‘When’ becomes more of a tinted photograph
on the walls of time
than a question I had asked you the last time.

Sanket Mhatre is a bilingual poet writing in English & Marathi. Sanket Mhatre has been invited to read at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Poets Translating Poets, Goa Arts & Literature Festival, Jaipur Literature Festival, Vagdevi Litfest and Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan. Sanket Mhatre has also created Kavita Café – a Youtube Channel that combines cinematic vision with visual poetry.