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Worlds such as this were not thought possible to exist.

—NASA, June 2, 2014


Was it I who invaded the day, or the day who invaded me?

I do, I undo, I redo.

I enlarged the figure till it was a mountain—I don’t fear the sublime—

and I cut off its head,

having already cut out its tongue. I have three siblings and flocks of children,

and though we’re oft confused,

you must know that I differ from all: I am not my brother Darkness,

nor my sister Dirt, nor my brother Torment.

I am a time and I am an astronomy, a geometry I invented myself, an architecture,

a divine, and like any divine,

yes, I have made kin from unions with my kin. Out of a union with my brother

I made the nymphs,

the river and the boatsman, lullabies. If X is an obstruction,

and if the poetry of X was music,

then this poem is a musical obstruction, and if this poem is a musical obstruction,

then this poem is a lullaby,

my kin born of my kin. I am a space as much as I am a voice. Did you truly hail me

for a dim-witted conversation about love?

Me? There is nothing like me. I am no more like my siblings or my parents

than I am like a placid lake,

or the Gaping from which I was born. I am a charioteer, a bird.

Would you believe me if I said I also made

the Ether and the Day? Whether or not your faith is stored in my ear,

I am sure in what I have made.

How could I be both gentle enough and dangerous enough for your thoughts?

Doyou have thoughts? I asked about moon,

dark, pain; you only gave me yourself. And as to my other question: it was me.

I invaded the day. It didn’t stand a chance.

from ArrowFind more by Sumita Chakraborty at the library

Copyright © 2020 Sumita Chakraborty
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Poems Sumita Chakraborty

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.