Three Poems by Sanket Mhatre

 





Butterflies have odd jobs


Butterflies have odd jobs here

Of leading you to the beach

Or misleading you—

deep into coconut groves 

where stories of faint shorelines 

merge with crumbling mansions

covered in half foliage 

and derelict truths

The monarchs leave a trail of silence 

As they show you around

Like reserved tour-guides 

Their flutter isn’t restless but 

a surreal dance of organized harmony 

They aren’t looking for milkweeds alone

but for a lost address and a house with no name

Before they turn homewards


Dissolved 


Words are made of air

Paper thin ether—supposed to last a day, sometimes for a moment

The blink of an eye—when past is replaced with remembrance 

So I excavate words before I speak—

Deep from the soil of tinted papers

Mulch of yesterdays   

From the libraries where dust encrusted lines were fences into another world

Words that can germinate under your window

Attract butterflies who can perch on your eyelids 

Borrow a little of what you saw in every land 

And bring back, a tiny rainbow that you once held on your way back

Words that can hold a part of my scent 

when I spoke to you last; Particles of an uncertain earth

Words that can hold the blood of our songs 

And salt of our sweat

Something you can keep as a promise

Before they vaporize over empty calendars 

Holding the only depth silence knows

But will never speak

So—

I keep excavating words in the land of seeds

In each alphabet I had gift wrapped

a part of me

Till I became nothing 

but a word.

And dissolved.   


Extra Marital 


We have an extra-marital affair—with time

Standing at the door with bags packed ready to move out

At the slightest hint of infidelity, ignorance or negligence  

Time claims everything when it leaves—

The past sharing of rooms, kisses and windows pasted with evening skies 

The earth of our souls and quantum of every journey

The stories we kept repeating and the ones we couldn’t tell

It takes too much when it leaves you for someone else

And worse, for nothing but itself

That’s why it’s painful to let time depart 

So, we write and rewrite our lives 

with the desperation of a thousand atoms 

Hoping that time understands our honesty 

And waits for some more time

Like, a day or two. 

 Someday 

Even calling it true love. 






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