One thousand odd flood-flown
corpses stack up near the pier.
We have read about their journey
serpenting through the rivers
from our adjacent country.
The village boys sit on the boughs
bent to the water and count the bodies.
The village boys sit on those planks
signposting the water but not quite
and count the bodies.
Naming the bloated flesh one by one
is a hobby for a while, and then it bores the boys.
It bores a hole in the water. There they whirl
into the depth of perception. The local teacher
tells the people, “They will return, be something else.”
He says, “What do you call a mass of corpses?
Kushal Poddar lives in Kolkata, India
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