Your city, ex-lover of the sun
A lizard unable to move, despite wanting to mate
As if in pursuit of the intolerable sensuality, of a moan.
Did you ever think ducks were dead?
When you saw the government doors come down locked ducks
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They were dead like any of your senile lovers –
Didn’t you even think of the countless billowing plumes
Around their flayed bodies
Attended their carcasses.
Yet love is always a shady menu.
A menu devoid of rice, wheat
Hasty, bloody footprints of newly dead ducks.
In the city it’s the ex-lover of the sun
Some people still use their names to show distance,
Affinity remains a locked lair,
The rusty metal hoops swing the locks,
And maybe some fiery letters,
Letters written by Shyamgram.
Who are those who still love each other?
Who likes all this perplexity?
The two-prong plug dies under electrical tyranny,
Only short-circuit stories invade the rooms.
Love is literally a shady menu,
You know what awaits you, don’t you? Antara?
Translated by: Shagufta Sharmeen Tania
Iraz Ahmed is a poet and journalist from Bangladesh who, over the course of three decades, has established himself as a unique and distinctive voice in the Asian literary world.
Shagufta Sharmine TaniaThe stories of appeared in Wasafiri, Asia Literary Review, City Press, Massachusetts Review, Adda magazineand Anthology of Talking Volumes Not quite good for us. His short story “What Men Live By” was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2022.