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After the Last Flight


The horizon has assumed the hue of fire

where the river penetrates the sea

or the sea penetrates the river


At first glance it seems nature has adorned herself

with the colour of life itself—red, purplish streaks

swimming all over the lush greenery

bathing the innumerable souls of onlookers

with the hope of a life seeming to promise

warmth and welcome.


It’s not too late though

When the horizon has darkened into a dungeon—walls

made of impenetrable smoke

as ruthless and confident as

the people in power

swallowing like insatiable monsters

filling their entrails with belongings

of the landless, homeless, hapless Rohingyas—people

who dream too, and despair to see those dreams

burnt in the flood of fire—

little remnants of big dreams

dreams of countless lovers whose lives loom large

with the maddening sagas of sterility.


Dreams of countless fathers and mothers

fleeing and escaping from what is theirs

to an uncertain vicinity, clutching at

the hope of survival, only to be awakened

by the still, immobile bodies that float by—

Bodies that have known the scorching heat of hatred

that have tolerated forays of despoilment

that have tasted death-in-life itself,

Bodies—that could have blossomed,

could have learnt the language of love

could have cried against slaughter of their bodies,

crucification of their souls


They kept on floating though

Flattened, crisped, desolate, grey bodies

overtaken by the merciless waves of rage

stony-eyes, perplexed and wondering

In what language does grace fall

over tormented hearts?


So, where should these souls sail

after the last river and sea deny them crossing?


Where should these souls harbour

after the last boats and ferries are burnt down?


And where should these souls anchor

after the last armed men threaten to turn them down?


Date: December 24, 2021

LitWrite Bangladesh is a blind peer-reviewed online biannual journal published by AstuteHorse

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