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Astha Gupta

The blue door

How bovine of you

The blue door

The chatty family behind the curtain is having dinner supervised
by a pendant lamp. Walk on before their prattle downs you.

At the tail of the hotel road, two neighbors exchange an alien
look. But you know their alien is much less alien than your alien.

You spent the last three days un-meeting people’s eyes but now
you have serious questions for the cuckoo that laid you here.

The blue door across the street – still shut. But a coherent way
to explain it without your friends calling the funny farm – none.

A Canaanite telegram arrives at 4 AM and you jerk awake to your
half-drunk glass of wine. Back home, you would have grunted now.

Unable to decipher its aleph and beth, you peek at the glowing blue
wood. Aristotle must have noted cold fire facing this very window.

You gulp the remaining wine and stretch out. The blue-door house’s
headless inmates will anyhow decipher the Semitic spells in your sleep.

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How bovine of you

Tyrannous, oppressive, dictatorial,
fascistic, despotic, autocratic,
authoritarian, absolute. This is
the thesaurus’ warm contribution
to a chilly December news report
on Karnataka’s OK to the cattle bill.
(I had right-clicked my first reaction
to the forced vegetarianism:

Now I have three choices:
1) Thank the non-saffronly holy maths
for reversing time; bringing back
the golden era of starving Dalits,
Muslims, Christians, low caste Hindus.
2) Read the Rig Veda where Indra
loved bull meat or Charak Samhita
for cow-flesh medicines.
3) Open the thesaurus again (last-ditch
attempt to understand pious minds
of the saintly bovine preachers).

I choose the last. It says this:
Bovine, feeble-minded, obtuse,
Unintelligent, lumpish, fatuous,
Doltish, dull, subnormal,
Imbecilic, dense, moronic.


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Astha Gupta's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Four Quarters Magazine, Madswirl, Danse Macabre, Nether, and elsewhere. She was part of a British Council anthology commemorating Rabindranath Tagore and shortlisted for the Cha 'Void' poetry contest. She lives in Bangalore and dreams of traveling the world.


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