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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.

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