Paradise | Smita Mitra

paradise was dirt-lit rooms
the make-shift body tents,
trapped in smoke swirls
and patterns of talk.
the multi-eyed I,
the singular we,
lisping buddhas
jumbled in the back
of rickshaws at three.
humming, hissing, howling.
paradise was DIY.
language trimmed
for intimate ease.
slowly unfurled ecstasy
of limbs and life.
puppies at their mother’s teat.
lazy industry of fecund minds
fingers and leaves.
rolling, reeling, reeking.

paradise was
the trenches
of living lonely.
stars and stones
in potholed
back alleys.
blurring brains and hearts
we, bubble-wrapped babies,
tangled with mosaic rooftops,
jammed bridges and quiet trees.
spreading, slipping, shining.

Smita Mitra
 is an editor with a South Asian magazine on politics and culture, based in Nepal. Previously, she has worked as a journalist and features writer for publications in India.


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