Poem with a sun-filled tram
by Debasis Mukhopadhyay

If you are thinking the tram tracks are not howling at you you are right
You can now feel I am gone too far you are right
You have reached the last page of the book we both liked you are right
I was once

Everything all of a sudden is not breaking into pieces at every place
Everything is not hanging out everywhere until the end of the time
That morning you discovered my bones fell out of my flesh
Wake up always beside one you love and so you did
That morning my bones gave you trouble breathing
They passed through the other side you were right
You thought if you could live your life
Life never unwinds you thumped your head
You carried me everywhere
No not me a yesterday
I was once

Who would shed all the bones to become a flesh-clad throbbing hell
To settle into the infamous smell
Trains dashed through my flesh all at once dread
And your reason perfect as always
You drank fell asleep in your wake you knew
You are right
You had had enough
You were too close to I was once
And that morning I was lying in vacuum

Spring has swollen and swollen now the windflowers are wanting out
Don’t wonder anymore whether my bones were ever there or they were      a reflex
You are right you knew none of my bones
This tram will lead you home

IMAGE: “Still life with skull on an armchair” by Pablo Picasso (1946).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Kafka has always been one of my favorite authors. And I often go back to the last page of The Metamorphosis where we read:”After that, the three of them left the flat together, which was something they had not done for months, and took the tram out to the open country outside the town. They had the tram, filled with warm sunshine, all to themselves. Leant back comfortably on their seats, they discussed their prospects and found that on closer examination they were not at all bad.” I reached out to and opened the page again while writing this poem. I have also coined the concept of metamorphosis thanks to the imagining of a little girl called Claire who thinks it’s not very safe to go to sleep anymore because sometimes bones fall out of people and it makes them fall down like jello.

recent portrait

Debasis Mukhopadhyay
grew up in Calcutta, India, and now lives in Montreal, Canada. He has a PhD in literary studies from Université Laval and extensive experience in language teaching and translation. He writes poetry in both Bengali & English. His debut collection of poetry in Bengali was published in 2005. Debasis’ recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Snapping Twig, Eunoia Review, Of/With, and elsewhere.