A C-Pop star speaks of Time by Anindita Sengupta

It is a dance, a debriefing, a bald eagle
pecking at the ocean in vein. Waking, I seek 

what trembles in the future. Beyond
this week, all weeks merge. Amalgam.
Amorphous swirl of color and word. Black gloves
and solipsism. The clock in my room 

is always set to 10. I think often of dying. 


Not being able to imagine time
means I may not exist in it.


The line from now to then is tenuous, 

an attenuation. Attention, a flickering 

lantern, and I am afraid of the dark.
Televisions set to ASMR. Fairy lights 

for eyes that must close against will
or remain open and fixed

as butterflies pinned to wood.


I sleep to rooster squawk.


Some people travel through time 

with ease. For such freedom, I would dress 

in the pirate costume, redress promises, 

and yet, crossing to you, my love, 

was like moving from stasis to growth. 

An orchid becoming the shape of the bee 

that pollinated it, before becoming extinct.

Anindita Sengupta is the author of Only the Forest Knows (Paperwall, 2022), Walk Like Monsters (Paperwall, 2016) and City of Water (Sahitya Akademi, 2010). She has received fellowship and awards from the Charles Wallace Trust, the International Reporting Project, Muse India, and TFA India. Her work is in anthologies such as The Penguin Book of Indian Poets, The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry, Witness (Red River), and journals such as PlumeSalamanderFolio, OneIce Floe PressFeral, and others. She grew up in Mumbai and currently lives in Los Angeles, CA. Her website is http://aninditasengupta.com and she tweets as @anu_sengupta.