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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Bedtime Story My Parents Never Read Out Loud to Me

By: Sujash Purna

bereft of memories, there’s a soul patch,

the redhead woman swings her body

to the breaking glass rhythm, a festered

theory that maybe I wasn’t meant to

be what I want to be, there is a blue

fire in her eyes telling me I should

worry about my life, waiting to be

mangled within these forceful gushes

wingless dreams tying my knees

to the concrete. How’s an hour

on the planet you live in? Is it longer

or is it shorter? Are those shadowy

bodies present in the midst of a light?

Are you hungry for the eternity

to be over? I once had memories,

then I had a son named after me.

When he grew up, he called me

the man with no memories, not

even if I had a degree in Bengali,

but I told him I lost the certificate

in the warfare between Aryans

and my ancestors, Dravidians.

I told him the stories of times I

used to run into her, the redhead

girl, swinging her head inside the

Church of John Coltrane, I listened

to her name whispered into my ears

and I had a dream of you. Carousels

breaking out in laughter and light

calling you the king of the world

that brought the beautiful darkness

and the shocklike alabaster in one

consistent equation, not yin to the yang

but like the kingdoms underneath the sea

and the jewels strewn across the stars.


Bangladeshi-born Sujash Purna is a graduate student at Missouri State University. A poet based in Springfield, Missouri, he serves as an assistant poetry editor to the Moon City Review. His poetry appeared in South Carolina Review, Naugatuck River Review, Kansas City Voices, English Journal, Stonecoast Review, Red Earth Review, Emrys Journal, Prairie Winds, Gyroscope Review, and others. His chapbook collection Epidemic of Nostalgia is coming out from Finishing Line Press in July 2021.


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