Spring 1991 • Vol. XIII No. 2 Poetry |

Another Love Poem

This country lives, on its image. In a boy's hand|the flipped coin of life's meaning, under the nation's politics and marches an old darkness comes floating downinto the abyss in a frail, dead man's eyes. The face that turns toward me todayis ominous and cruel as the moon. Slack in the grip of the drug of frustration, the face is not able to die all at once, whispering obscenities in the dark; it knows the body has not done anything right. Today I seek reasons for what has happened to me. Do I ask too much of my land? A sunlit blind sky, and underneathrefugees of hate, who did not know where they were going. We have become stiff and cautious with each other as this country is with the US and the USSR. What if we had touched, in the only way we could touch? What if we stand here in the middle of nothing?In a country drugged with its image, I only find my way in metaphor:fear points me out on the street wherever I go.

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Author of sixteen collections of poetry, Jayanta Mahapatra’s latest volume is titled Bare Face. He has read his poetry around the world and is widely anthologized. He edits the literary periodical Chandrabhaga. His recent work has appeared in the Sewanee Review.

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