Kushal Poddar’s Quarantine Diaries: Day Thirty-Two to Day Thirty-Six: The Birth of Aurelia-Noa

This part of our city, one I never visited, seems uncanny with silence of the quarantine. There are so many birds flying around.

Day Thirty Two – Bed

From the couch beside your bed
I see the cuckoos’ hiding places.
The peaceful humming monitors
make me slumberous, I murmur
about the things I see and forswear
about those I do not. Sometimes you harken.
We wait for the dispatch. The period in-between
wears hazmat suit, smells of a neonate
with a mild sparing effect, and I susurrate,
“Dusk it is; the fields and quarantined streets
sprawl beneath a bloody placenta and night
has dropped in proximity to the cervix.”
And we wait. The walls sport the pallor of
white gone wrong. A muted television
proclaims – the WHO warns against
its previous warnings. Two egrets fly in and out.
The steady hum of the waiting. Sometimes you
listen. Sometimes I do not expect you to do that even.

Day Thirty Three – What Day is It?

I should tell you, you enter
into this world like an ant
down the neck of a jar of jellybeans.

The other thousands ants ropewalk
up spine, down spine of mine. Rain heads
this way, and my eyes, foggy, see the signs
birds draw against the sky. I should tell
you, you have a name already, chosen by
your mom and me, and the fear that hospitals
shall remain inattentive in a pandemic has
driven us far to a care unit beyond our reach.

Doors are closing. Doors are opening. Doors.
I listen to the elevation whisperings.
May six. Half the world sneeze, and the other
dread sternutation. Hushed gesundheit, amen.

I should tell you, daughter, moon looks
magnified in silence through the thick
glass of the clinic. Doors. I wait outside
in hazmat suit. The automated voice
of the elevator closes and opens. Signs, I can read.

Day Thirty Four – Daughter

Mid conversation poems sway
in and out. In the bassinet my
daughter’s hypnogely meets and recedes.
I lilt something like “Hither hops in/
the future queen,/ Aurelia-Noa my princess./
Doesn’t she reigns the Corona land,/
dons its harness?” I stare at her face,
my fingers lull between two pages
of a vintage Stephen King.
This, a console, blue lamp, and I delay
calling my father not allowed inside
because of his age (vulnerable in the pandemic).
A raven outside flies inside. Not really.
Shadows flutes, our minds be. Then
I may be right. A raven has flown inside.

Day Thirty Five . . .

When the avis returns I have a fistful of me to feed it.
Sometimes what I let them have is the I.

Sometimes everything I feel as my own
sits in pieces on a parenthesis, and
the street below curses at the shit, white.

Today the sidewalks teem with people
freed from quarantine; some, if you notice,
jostles with feet not quite touching the ground.

I ask Tim if he has been resurrected.
He says, not yet. His feet sleeps beneath
the walks of reality. Some, I think, have not read
their obituaries already published to obsolete
other news. Today they stroll, stride, stumble.

I feed the bird. Will it feed me when I return?
The souls sit on a parenthesis. Shit out the streets.

Day Thirty Six – Weapon

The library of weird murder weapons
stays open
ever since began the quarantine.

I issue out the item three hundred sixty four F
and misplace it in my household. My daughter
may find it – I dread.

The neighbors build a mote. ‘No outsiders’ –
the sign cries. The library asks me to return
the weapon, and I silence them with silence.
From the mote of night growlings rise. I dream
of memento mori signposts and cairns of my tribe.
In this dream my daughter reigns yielding the overdue weapon.

Kushal Poddar @Kushalpoe is a writer and visual artist and is the author of ‘The Circus Came To My Island’, ‘A Place For Your Ghost Animals, Understanding The Neighborhood’, ‘Scratches Within’, ‘Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems’, ‘Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems’ and now ‘Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse-A Prequel’ (Alien Buddha Press). Author Page – amazon.com/author/kushalpoddar_thepoet

Banner, photos and woodcut by Kushal Poddar

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