What poetry do I write?
I think of inscribing my thoughts with the pen
Future's hope-or some language of love,
Or maybe some blissful Eden of my dreams.
But my pen bleeds,
Only blood.
A bitter, quinine taste lingers in my mouth-
What do you want to hear?
Will you listen-if I tell you,
I am a guinea pig, of the political party laboratory
Or a research object under intellectual eyes.
I exist now without land, home or roots.
My innocence raised ridicule and laughter
Love's flame flickered and died at the gates of deception.
The earth's circumference got reduced-
Without clothing and food,
I was pushed into the abyss of the cave.
But I know I wouldn't be allowed to live here either.
The thirst within my explosive, questioning eyes
Would be answered by the cranium-
Placed in future's magic box.

Karabi Deb Barman is an accomplished poet and writer; she resides in Tripura, India and actively works for the Adibashi Mahila Samiti, an NGO that looks after tribal students in the state. A lot of her written work is dedicated to the causes of Kakbarak people in Tripura and her poem "Future's Magic Box" (translated from Bengali by Amrita Ghosh) has been previously published in her book, Journey to the Heart. Agartala, Tripura: Bhasha Publications, 2003.








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