The Y-Gene

By KIRITI SENGUPTA

My friends were aware of the wish I nurtured.
If I had a daughter,
I would name her Srividya!
I was not influenced by any actor.
Our prayer room hosted a dazzling
crystal Sri Yantra on the holy altar.

My wife’s desires were girly too.
She wished to drape her daughter
in frilly dresses.
She had plans to find her girl
a groom in clover, so my wife could
live comfortably! Prior to her labor,
my mother-in-law keenly observed
my wife’s navel, Come on, it’s a boy!
It was a boy, a cute little one
of two and a half kilos.

To take care of the borderline weight,
special supplements were arranged.
My wife looked bright in pride.
We worshiped the Narayana
right after the holy bath.
My son is at school.
It’s a co-education convent.
After school he tells his mother,
Girls sit on the left side.

Kiriti Sengupta is a poet, editor, translator, and publisher from Calcutta, India. He has been awarded the 2018 Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize for his contribution to literature. He has published ten books of poetry and prose and two books of translation, and co-edited five anthologies. Sengupta is the chief editor of Ethos Literary Journal. More at kiritisengupta.com.

[Purchase Issue 18 here.]

The Y-Gene

Related Posts

Image of dental floss on red background

September 2020 Poetry Feature

BRUCE BOND
What you have heard is half true, half forgotten. / It’s what we have, a rubric written in old / blood whose spirit of inclusion admits / the occasional invention, the apocryphal / goat at midnight, for one, who has broken / down the gate again, and wandered through...

The book cover for Ricardo Maldonado's "The Life Assignment"

Poems From The Life Assignment

RICARDO ALBERTO MALDONADO
I feel from dignity and calm. I, / anxiety grabbed me // with sciatica, although I recited poems / at a stone’s throw, inside the machine // elevator. The clattering of the empire / its capital / an arsenal of pain, it made for a rough // odor. Now can you see the monument?

Golden Eagle Michael Eastman

Ghost Town

SALLY BALL & MICHAEL EASTMAN 
St. Louis is the center of this series: middle-class (or once middle-class) St. Louis, and the layers of depletion and reinvigoration and depletion-again-anyway-despite that are visible in the facades boarded over, or enlivened (once) with murals, or not painted going on 30-40 years.