The froth of the impassioned waves
swept away my spit.
Yet sometimes I am embarrassed, after so many years I can hear
the sea curse me.
On the mail train’s body I once chalked
a woman’s profile:
no one saw me, no one knew—
in fact even the stars in her eyes were not there.
Before the train could cross a single station, impassioned rains came—
perhaps my sketch was washed away.
Yet sometimes I am embarrassed, after so many years I can hear
the mail train curse me.
When I walk the road every day, do I trample its heart?
When I catch a woman’s nipple with my teeth, am I brutalising her?
Sipping wine on wintry mornings
do I represent an exploitative class interest?
Is it a sin to embrace Saraswati’s idol in the first flush of adolescence?
I am still not sure about such things.
Yet I can distinctly hear
the sea and the mail train curse me.
Translated by Pritish Nandy.

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