Saudade

By DIPIKA MUKHERJEE

Itaparica, Brazil
Itaparica, Brazil

The voluptuousness of misery

—Machado de Assis

In Itaparica, the beach broods
under ruddy sky. Two fishermen
and I search waves spitting
shells: ribbed green, a crown
for a queen; a conch; an obelisk;
a whorled shell; a thin swell
pink modica of a disc.

I wash the five in running water.
The pink slithers through fingers
fragmented it lingers …
                                      disappears.

A wound reappears
periodically swelling
voluptuous
                  with memory.

 

Dipika Mukherjee is the author of the novels Shambala Junction, which won the UK Virginia Prize for Fiction, and Ode to Broken Things, which was longlisted for the Man Asia Literary Prize. Her work is included in The Best Small Fictions 2019 and she frequently writes for World Literature Today, Asia Literary Review and Chicago Quarterly Review as well as a literary column for The Edge in Malaysia. She was a Sacatar Foundation Fellow in Itaparica, Brazil, in 2019.

Photo by the author. 

Saudade

Related Posts

leahy dispatch

Trill

KRISTA J.H. LEAHY
Sometimes something is / so funny even my legs laugh. // I do not know / the frequency of god, / but I adore / the frequency of laughter.

May 2020 Poetry Feature

KERRY JAMES EVANS
Everyone’s so proud / of Jethro for seeing the light, / which he will truly see next Tuesday, / when he rolls his Ford F-150 over a guardrail / and into the Buttahatchee River, / where so many dead bodies / have been devoured, even the river / has lost count...

Image of book cover

Kazakhstani Poet Aigerim Tazhi in Translation

Aigerim Tazhi
A shaggy cactus in the window / catches on the drape. A stinging / spine in the hand. Along the wall. / Don't step into a moonbeam, / Don't tread on a house-elf / Or any other living thing. / In the newborn darkness / Pushing away dreams and shadows, / Sit on a sofa, keep still...