Varsha (Monsoon) 2020 Poems - Sayantan Ghosh


Dead Plants

By Sayantan Ghosh


The plants on my balcony are all dying in this early heat of April,

I saw them wither, one leaf at a time.

I stood witness when their adventitious root burnt, turned to dust,

I saw in their fading eyes how they wished they grew as epiliths on stones instead,

discarding my year-old love without hesitance, like good families discard a bastard child.


It’s not that I forgot to water them; I waited for them to crave me. Beg me to stay,

so we could split the burden of this constant ache I feel, which like an

inflorescence keeps growing taller inside me. A year ago, when I brought them home,

I ensured they be placed close to each other, that their leaves remained entwined always,

such that anyone looking, couldn’t tell where one stalk ended, and the other began.


In spring, they bloom, someone had once said,

but spring is no more a season in our lives;

spring is a brief moment, and it passes before we know it.


I water them every day now, their wilted bodies, their departing colour,

their occasional unforgiving glare… I water them all.

Not with any hope that they’ll spring back to life, and be mine once again.

Those who pass were meant to pass, but this is how we began. And if it must end, then it must

with us going back to where it all started to go wrong, so we can leave an embrace there.


Sayantan Ghosh from India works as an editor for a publishing house. His work has been published in Electric Literature, Litro Magazine, The Aerogram, The Missing Slate, Northeast Review, Reading Hour, The Bangalore Review, Antiserious, Arre, Youth Ki Awaaz, DailyO, Scroll, The Telegraph, National Herald and The Hindu Business Line among others, and his short stories were long listed for the DNA-Out of Print short fiction prize in 2014 and 2017.


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