This Stranger in Me

by Bibhu Padhi (August 2016)

As soon as I begin to look for it,

someone says, “It’s too early.”

Someone, who I thought

was always there, behind sun

and night, covered me

like skin, now steals into

my lightness and transparency:

I think I feel it inside me.

I remember the lines I had read

somewhere, “There are

no coincidences.” Could it be

true? I think that is what

everything is. And hence,

I ask myself again, “Who is

this moving inside me?,

even as someone says “It’s

too early to ask.” And so,

I feel the burden of the body

and name, the numerous

calculations of the mind,

the humiliation of defeat

in the face of my ancestors,

the great sources of mercy.

I ask, “Is this what it needs—

this tree, these branches, these

leaves, this mind?” When shall

it be known to me, how many

more years and centuries? And

therefore, I only wait for my

long-distance answer to this

stranger moving inside me,

but as if it carried me, wanted to

tease all my restless jealousies,

my doubts and complacencies.

I imagine, to know is to miss,

for such knowledge would

quickly be heard by someone

who would only say, “Don’t

think. It’s always too early.”

 

___________________________

 

Bibhu Padhi's tenth book of poems, Midnight Diary, has just been published. He lives with his family in Bhubaneswar, India.

 

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