is in a far-off desolate land
something akin to a fable
as you read the news in this bustling
café, tinkling of spoons like the chirrups
of birds that have flown far from
the lacerated land
the woman at the counter looks sheepishly
as her child throws a tantrum for a muffin
only now do you see the beauty
in a child’s chaos, his dreams beyond
sugar, shoes, or a brother back to life
Gaza is a sign, a confirmation bias
that there must be no god
so you could live without fear or shame
now, you don’t even know how to pray.
at night, sleep is like a haughty god
from the stories your grandmothers spun
it presents itself after penance— thoughts that
blot any wisp of sleep out—
you think how do they sleep?
the news said huddled together
for when the bomb drops, they wish
to die together. you think how
does anyone sleep with peace?
and that this must be a god—
the whirring of the fan in deep-set
silence is the voice of the children
buried in rubble haunting you.
Soumitra Somendra is a poet from Jaipur. He is a recent masters graduate (English Literature) from Ambedkar University, Delhi. This is his first published poem.