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When, Aavantika

When did I first see you, Aavantika
I ask myself again and again
even then
when you touched me in that long night with a
ripple of laughter and a breath song
that I lost so swiftly within the
shadow of your eye.
That was many years back
and the fort hid those streets that frequented into streets
always riding a midday sun
the tar that melted within the silence of another ritual
and lips that groped a loneliness
behind a tattered curtain
even when the village lunatic screamed incessantly outside.
I saw you again
the other day on a suburban
platform in New York
caught off a banter of the metro train and people
on an afternoon of patience as I
tried to imprison the glimpse of
an eyelash that lifted to
question me again
beyond the purdah of our mundane essentials. 
 
  – Dr. Amitabh Mitra
June 29, 2003

 
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