(from) Becoming Honeycomb Mesh – A Poem by Anindita Sengupta

(from) Becoming Honeycomb Mesh

I needle blonde fiber for days
I’ve been the boner-killer         the one
without humor     There is chenille
between bouts of blood       I purl it down
so soft   scurrying squirrels
skirt of suburbia        Mom boots
in a merriment I pray
              I palpitate wood palpate yearnings
Sepals scandent         I’ve been a coward
candling among reeds      Some days,
no barb will wick low enough its pallid tallow
to prevent the forest becoming Ouroboros.       Somewhere,
a mother on the sidewalk,

If she is migrant,
I am opportunist

Opportunity. Unemployment.

I boulder these words with vowels       bolder,

Tree-witch comes to live inside a tree
Tree-witch comes to live inside me

Pale green as olives,         Tree-witch
teaches my child how to add / subtract afternoon
weans us to where something prevails,
risible and kicking

Want versus need
Flaw and anti-flaw

Character a pestle
of anger. Fashion it.

Blasphemy a stone
and we become mythical,
tongues scorched and peeling
from burn injuries.

Some nights, Tree-witch peels herself off me.
Some nights she sulks.
Mostly it’s marzipan and togetherness.

Embroider earthquakes. Constant threat
can lead to gratitude. Embroider unemployment.

Each presidential decree cracks eggs in my womb.
Men explain things to me. Beads. Little tinsel.

Embroider: an angel, cherub flying and singing
through light

Or: a pack of racoons,
their eyes flashlights,
feral and hungry

Tree-witch grows jaunty
as a jalapeno plant

This is my real name, she says,
wrecking a painting

Nobody can pronounce it.


a garden must reveal itself
in fragments,
the fragrance of labor

I macrame a tightrope
swung between dwellings

The city mumbles its derision
of belonging and knot

Our bodies are galaxies

Inside us, constellations
like herds of stag

Cherub cherub, the angels sing
and strum mandolins

It is what it is, I say,
picking guns off a palm frond,

masticating in my mouth
their buttery iron

To rest on the rim of lake,
balance between sky and water—

Is refuge possible?

Kelp strings
like fairy lights

Every massive undertaking
of mist.

Anindita Sengupta who served as a Guest Editor on the forthcoming Ice Floe Press Pandemic Love Anthology (2022) is the author of Only the Forest Knows (Paperwall, forthcoming), Walk Like Monsters (Paperwall, 2016), and City of Water (Sahitya Akademi, 2010). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in several anthologies and in journals such as Plume, 580 Split, Perhappened, Feral, One,  and Breakwater Review. She has received fellowships/awards from the Charles Wallace Trust India, The International Reporting Project, TFA India, and Muse India. Her journalistic articles have appeared in The Guardian UK, and several Indian publications. She was founder-editor of Ultravolet in, a webzine for young Indian feminists. With over two decades of experience in writing, journalism and communications management she has worked for non-profits such as Gender at Work, Samuha India and Fida International. She is from Mumbai, India and currently lives in Los Angeles. Twitter: @Anu_Sengupta.

Banner Art: Lyre: Triptych, a visual poem by Robert Frede Kenter. Twitter: @frede_kenter.

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