Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2016  Vol. 15 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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translation from Bengali by Paramita Banerjee & Carolyne Wright

The Green Stigma
from Jubaker Snan (The Young Man’s Bath, Ananda Publishers, 1978)         

In the long-stagnant pond
you’ve been submerged, stone,
but there was no green stigma on you,
so blameless you are!
The moss’s roots, bunches of kalmi flowers,
and waterdrops blurting suddenly from fishes’ lips;
are they afraid of you?

I look on bemused:
stark white
like desert sand or
the cold-white complexion of the moon—
no shadow anywhere.
Eyelashes are burning,
there’s gasping on all sides;
all the tears of my body,
the last drop of water in my blood,
dash against you.

Like you, I’m also stiff, inert now,
but in a different way:
over my whole body
the dog star’s lovely cold
blue gleams
and grows gradually darker.
I’m no longer the same as
water, traces of moss, and hyacinth tendrils.
Seeing you change, I’ve also changed my color.  

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