The Forbidden | A Poem by Lopa Banerjee

[Note: Written for the every woman]

It’s surely one of those days when she bites her own lips
to taste that fertile blood,
swirling down generations of feminine waste.
It’s surely one of those nights when the moonbeams of her breasts
are a red, sticky glue taped to the quirks of patriarchy yet again.
It’s surely one of those days when her poetry and art
have drowned in a bottomless pit of her own making,
And she fails to make a home out of the world that she sucks fill throttle.
It’s surely one of those failed poems which she sucks in one of her veins
like a faulty blood transfusion, or else, why would it spill over
the bloodmoon of her naked body
in the washroom, and perturb her kith and kin,
women and men who would rather love her to be a hired womb,
spread her legs in between cycles,
take in a man’s lust and seed and emit
the seedlings as newborns meshed with her own blood and mucus
and then smile, coy and righteous
when those of her kith and kin glorify her tomfoolery of surrendering?

It’s surely one of those nights when she stares at her stark body,
the sagging abdominal muscles, the aching pelvic bones,
the poetry of her stretch marks and wonders
if her body was only a dubious shrine of parochial needs.
It’s surely one of those days when she strived to be
something more than a creeper in obeisance
with the darkness and idiocy of myths muttered,
recycled, from the junkyards of unquestioned faith
that they call ‘religion’.

It’s surely one of those nights when she knows she doesn’t give a damn
Whether she is a woman, a wife, a mother, a slut or a poet or an artisan.
She can be all of the above, or none, for that matter.
She can laugh away the fucking bullshit of labels hurled at her,
Falling out of her life in quick succession
like the milk teeth of her childhood,
giving way to her adult grins.

All she can do in a slender, lustful night like this
when her failed poetry wants to enter her like a nude, impatient lover
is to lead him, deeper and deeper
in her dark, inner trenches and then,
die out, together with him,
in unnamed kisses and smothering.

All Rights Reserved. Lopa Banerjee. March 1, 2018


Lopamudra Banerjee is an author, poet, editor and translator based in Dallas, Texas, USA. Her memoir ‘Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey’ and her debut poetry collection ‘Let The Night Sing’ have received honorary mentions in The Los Angeles Book Festival and New England Book Festival 2017 respectively. Her memoir ‘Thwarted Escape’ was also a First Place Category Winner at Chanticleer Reviews and Media LLC, USA. She also received The International Reuel Prize for Poetry in 2017 and The International Reuel Prize for Translation in 2016 (for ‘The Broken Home’, her English translation of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s novella ‘Nastanirh’). ‘The Broken Home and Other Stories, her translation of two novellas and six short stories of Tagore is now a book in paperback version, published by Authorspress. She has also co-edited two fiction anthologies, ‘Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas’ (with Rhiti Bose) and ‘Darkness There But Something More’ (with Dr. Santosh Bakaya) and also co-edited a poetry anthology of women poets along with Dr. Santosh Bakaya, ‘Cloudburst: The Womanly Deluge’.

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