Poem with a lunar grapefruit by Debasis Mukhopadhyay

Bedside, window side, flowers on my nightstand and so you tell me not to walk the path in my head, I just have to look outside. I have to take your word with reverence, no more sighs that shimmer on the landscape you have been trying to reorder inside these walls. I have to just pick a greeting amongst the ones everybody is handing me over and bear equally with you from here to anywhere.

Life is taking shape around me. Cankers unlock the door at night and shake their rattles. I crawl toward the window pane sheathing a moon that looks like a grapefruit. “Don’t tell anyone”, I confess, “I was mother once and I won’t survive”. I take my quota of medicines and awkwardly fall asleep thinking the world is being created anew. I hear the clock ticking and darkness exuberates in my eyes. Rattles once again, is it you, son? Before life blows you away from me, come shake your rattles again.

Bedside, window side, and mornings make me cradle on my knees in an epiphany of cirrhosis that goes on to match its positive-sense particles with my memories trying their wings in the transfusions. And you become a child paddling across the lake of my blood. Smiling away. Then again, you are the everyday stalker by my side telling me not to walk the path in my head as I hold onto my bedpan to pass urine and stool. I am not locked from the outside. I just have to stop peering beneath my blood count. And I try my best to rise from bed to see my rites of being are not pleading mercy inside my thoughts.

Life is taking shape around me between hospital and home. You insist I put on display my life that lies though scattered to and fro. Life, yes I am hacked to life. I had to let the tumor out to play naked. Submerged in chloroform and methanol, my liver is waiting to be homogenized. So if I must wait, I don’t want to hear of no death surpassing my own. I am not the one who will fall backwards into death. Alive, I have to just put my life on display. A lunar grapefruit awaiting the blind blade.

Bedside, window side, I am not locked from the outside. As you say, I just have to try my best to look outside my sufferings while they take their regular bite. The concoction of memories has been dried up. I am not flopping anymore in the bottom of darkness. That’s perhaps you. Once again, I am to harbor you inside me to help you shed your skin. I won’t blame you, son, if you are writhing with all this waiting around. Little one, stay there, once again, inside my womb, I anoint you, as you have to choose between peace and your mother to clean the slate.


(The fragment in italics in the poem is from Lorca’s Lunar grapefruits.)



Debasis Mukhopadhyay is a poet from Montreal. His poems have appeared most recently in over a dozen literary magazines such as Yellow Chair ReviewThirteen Myna BirdsWith Painted Words (U.K.), Of/WithI am not a silent poetSilver Birch PressFoliate OakThe Bitchin’ KitschSnapping TwigEunoia ReviewDown in the DirtFragments of ChiaroscuroWords Surfacing, etc. Follow him at  debasis mukhopadhyay or @dbasis_m on Twitter.

One thought on “Poem with a lunar grapefruit by Debasis Mukhopadhyay

  1. Pingback: All about a lunar grapefruit | debasis mukhopadhyay

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