bad love | Lakshmi Mitra

my body cannot hold love / nor differentiate between the good & the ugly. in midwinter, the coconuts drop into our garden-bed (dhuk. dhuk. dhuk.) / when we hold them in our hands, we find they are void of liquid / empty shells, faces buried in the soil. the petni who plagues the tree, she leeches / the water and hides in the fringe-curtain leaves. eyes like the devil, says my grandmother / a white saree-shroud to conceal her fog-kissed hair, her hungering limbs; a shadowy half-smile.

in bengal, says my grandmother, the women / are all ghosts.

& was she another victim of bad love. hoarding sly warmth slipped into her outstretched palms, feeling the sun grow arctic / crying cold into the ocean as her hands came away empty / a sting of regret for every loveless month that takes its leave, a wash of moonlight. was she the woman / who traded her gold bangles / her mehndi ceremony / her alta-licked feet / to stand alone on a verandah at night and kiss her fingers / to the moon / to a love that cannot leave her or mould her or burn her or gently

break her.

do you think she gave away so much of herself / that she cannot now / find the pieces.

Lakshmi Mitra is a 19 year old college student living in Kolkata who occasionally frustrates herself into a bout of writing. When not doing so, she can be found reading, studying, craving sleep, and complaining. She is mostly polite, a lousy conversationalist, and doesn’t like sudden movements. Therefore, it comes as a great surprise to her that her cats still don’t like her. She blogs at


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