“Self-Obituary: Prose Poem” by Lopa Banerjee
One day, a caged bird who could not be tamed will fly away, far away from this human territory of measured movements, usual chitchats, regulated habits and practiced, recycled codes. A bird who was a human by sheer accident, with a faulty topography of a mind that fed on nostalgia gold, on ungoverned desire and dreamt of sunken continents where the movement of air carried the jingling scent of unspoken poems which crackled and burst out in a crescendo, just before the universe exploded. A bird who chased words like kites flying in the sky and knew nothing strategic and understood nothing mathematical, but palpable geometric shapes that weighed heavily in her head, the diamond, the equilateral triangle, the arrows and the dots that converged to form her Bildungsroman, a dance with flames and stardust.
One day, a caged bird who could not be tamed, no matter the rituals of imposed normalcy, would be on a quest of dead ancestors and their spirits crossed over, asking about scriptures and discrimination and the false obeisance of self-proclaimed holiness. A bird who would ask why birds couldn’t be regarded holier than human priests or clergymen, why nature, with all its providence, wouldn’t be the only temple of worship. A bird whose voice broke open in high pitched notes and faulty sopranos, soaring over the practiced rhythm of the cacophonous days and the nights impregnated with deadly silence. A bird, always in love with the trailblazing sun and the lonely moon, who smiled and waved at the storms bygone and played weird memory games, ignoring the machinations of the chronology of time.
One day, a caged bird who could not be tamed will fly away, waving goodbye to sooty earthen tales and leave no trace behind, no human scars, no despair, no bond of fragile hearts. But in her mundane tracks, just before flying, brown dirt, slippery songs and smudged raindrops will remain, her nectar of this life lived, this life, departed.
All Rights Reserved. Lopa Banerjee. November 18, 2021
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Lopa Banerjee’s Artist Statement: I am an author/poet, editor, translator and writing mentor living with my family in Dallas, Texas, but originally from India. My memoir ‘Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey’ and my debut poetry collection ‘Let The Night Sing’ have received honorary mentions in The Los Angeles Book Festival and New England Book Festival 2017 respectively. ‘Thwarted Escape’ has also been First Place Category Winner at the Journey Awards 2014 hosted by Chanticleer Reviews and Media, USA. I have authored seven books (poetry, fiction, translation), co-edited four anthologies, and co-produced an acclaimed poetry film ‘Kolkata Cocktail’.