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Poetry

 

Octopus Kid

I am going to start with me and you
Now that I know you are coming to stay with me.
I am in love- yes, wholly with you, so please just listen carefully.
The other day when you turned over the pages of my diary,
I said to myself- "Not another day, not anymore."
Your sin is that you ask for me in pages, in words that you cannot speak.
You stay away, drawing me in. Courage, is what you seek.
What was the name you gave me the day we met?
oh yes, the name I cannot remember to forget.
Why don't you call me by your name- Octopus Kid?
Blue moon, silver sky in the roof, and clouds below-
outside it is cold, dark, but in you let me find a room.
The problem is you demand my poems
out of death, out of the name you are offered in it.
You see, I will write when I please, invading your skin-
and hide it in negatives, for the turmoil to cease.
I am angry now- mostly, all the time; angry at the music of fear
that my late hunger for bedtime stories seek, but none can please.
Aren't you angry with the cold outside? Dead-
without whisperings of the seashells, loud and clear?
My diary that you read on Sundays have old poems of winter fire.
I have marched on the streets naked, alone, unable to contain.
I have been dragged, insulted, beaten for my body-
raped by my uncle when I was nine, and washed my pants alone-
stained, but still you hold me near. Our love, the time has come. "Tomorrow we shall rage."
This morning is dangerous, the city is crumbling-
and I need your help. You. I need You to go with me outside.
Leave this room; leave our blue moon for the prayers.
Either way round, we stay, we hold hands and write our stories out of no fear.
Let us step out and shout; let us demand that we want space for more,
For us, Octopus Kids- green, yellow, all colours of proud queer.
You've read me enough, I have seen you this way for more than just a year. Don't say no.
You have to come out, invade spaces of your town, your people that you hold dear.
You see, only then can we exist, like all, free in the open,
thrice as me- I, the whole of you and the world outside. Next time, we march naked.
Another Octopus Kid with little hands, and skin so dark. Alone.
Another one of me for the pages to see. "Quietly. Adopt quietly."
Thrice will be my words, my war cries of agony.
For here I stand. Call and say what you may, I am the Octopus Kid.
I am the word you hate, and still the courage you seek.
They've seen us, and killed us brutally. And yet the dead arise all free.
My diary, there they scream- "Not another day, not anymore of me."

About the author

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Santanu Das

He is pursuing his Masters in English from Jadavpur University. A mysterious nomad, he changes places and clicks pictures to save things he fears losing. He favours black coffee with chocolate on a rainy day with a rainy person.

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