An Imagerie (of Summer Afternoons) by Chetan Ashish (June 2021 Issue)

Three regrets sit outside my house and start arguing;
they make up eventually and share a cigarette.
A plume of cigarette smoke turns into a swallow,
it flies into a house being built and is trapped forever.
The ghost of a knife sharpener roams the streets,
he cries out his services — unheard then, and now too.
Five children look for a spot to resume playing cricket,
they find a severed ear and disappear into it.
A sanitation worker sits in a shade formed by lilies
and shares his lunch with a missing afternoon dog.
Grandmother hums and breaks down a chicken
while a group of cats waits outside for the gizzards.
You hang two chikankari kurtis and last night out to dry
and look at me with eyes carrying a composite sorrow.


Chetan is a BTech graduate and a subsequent IT employee, who is actually a wannabe arts student. Poetry is his window to that world, supported by a passion for consuming and discussing cinema, literature, and music (mainly through an anti-caste and Marxist lens). It is also a means for him to understand his place in the world better, both personally and politically. He can also be found sitting by the window in his room sipping coffee, in the company of his best friend and pet shih-tzu Albus. You can find him on Instagram.

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