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.