This Hand Has Touched

Sunil Gangopadhyay

This golden figurine--- oh dear, will she ceaselessly crumble away,
            In the night , in the sun, in the rain             in the arms of another man?
Her nipples two bared switches,--- switches? Hands tremble at their touch.
This hand has touched worms, pillows bound to chest, blood,
In a greedless drowning to death in the blood's mucus,
This hand has touched the shriek of tearless eyes
This hand has touched
This hand
A tunnel-like alley--- running through it lightning-fast,
small change clutched....sounds of boots behind, a cigarette
in the sleeping mirror's mouth, this hand!

No steam builds in my heart.      Yet,
we meet in the darkness of a mist, eyes flash
like a gold coin hid in an ancient chest.
The nipples two bared switches, hands tremble at their touch,
Even this hand!

There are some billion doctors on this earth.
Like Parashuram I shall kill them all
and wake to life in a pool of their blood.
Moonlight, like shadows of trees.
Within it none alive. Anymore.
Trees under the sky. Darkness, leaves bunch.
A stream within the leaves.
Within the stream's every vein cruelty;
For the present, cruelty gathers her aachal away and says,
There are the lights, my cousin waiting at the gate, I have to go now....

Go, but never again alone in the dark
turn your neck to me, go, I shall for long
stand in watch here and hold the dogs at bay,
go today without fear, but never again. Today,
go without fear.      I shall stand in watch.

Published May 5, 2002

The original poem [ei haat chhu.NYechhilo* by Sunil Gangopadhyay*] appeared in the collection of poems Ami Kirokombhaabe Bneche Achhi*, first published in 1966.

Translated by Nandini Gupta [nandinI gupta*] - Nandini Gupta is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, working on ... (more)

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* To learn more about the ITRANS script for Bengali, click here.