Abhijit Sarmah

DUPLEX (Floating Bodies on the Ganges)

after Jericho Brown

‘… a total of 71 bodies had been fished out of the Ganga river in Bihar’s Buxar, where

they had been found floating in a decomposed state.’ —The Quint, 12th May 2021

Floating bodies on the Ganges do not shine.

They bloom like hibiscuses in vacuum.

Grief scythes hibiscuses in vacuum.

My mother circles clinics for hope.

In this station of ruins we pitch for hope

And chip mangled dreams in ochre bathwater.

For the dead there’s no heaven, no bathwater.

Crosscut to salvation is a Champa field.

Sobs of those we let die rings in Champa fields.

Sure, ours is a vista of necropolis.

At dinner, there’s no talk on necropolis.

We quietly chew on the bones of the dead.

Someone lives with the thought of her man’s return.

Floating bodies on the Ganges do not shine.


Abhijit Sarmah's poems have previously appeared in The Albion Review, The Rigorous Magazine, South 85 Journal, The Scriblerus, Not Very Quiet, and others.