Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2016 v15n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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translation from Bengali by Paramita Banerjee & Carolyne Wright

No, No, and No
from Bhutera O Khuki (Ghosts and the Little Girl, Ananda Publishers, 1988) 

There’s no hurry, it isn’t time yet;
I’m ready to wait if you ask me to.
The mirror is finished—
it’s inside you that the opaque curtain trembles.
The fairy-shaped candle
with her little lighted tongue
licks up the dark.
Alone in the garden, I notice
that the cricket’s song
goes for a stroll on the balcony.
Nobody, I’m nobody I know.
Still, I wait
in case I hear the sound of your hands
throwing a window open—
in case that face of white clouds
falls into my sea as waves.
I merely notice
a few distant stars like toenail clippings,
their light a long ways from this sky.

There’s no fear. No hope either?
There are still so many births—
lives of insects, birds, trees, sand, and stone.
I object to nothing.
I’d like to move in your shadow
just to find out how many times you say no.
How many times you can say no.  

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