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

Headshot of Anne Pierson Wiese

Sharp Shadows

ANNE PIERSON WIESE
On our kitchen wall at a certain time / of year appeared what we called the sharp / shadows. / A slant of western light found / its way through the brown moult of fire / escape hanging on to our Brooklyn rental / building for dear life and etched replicas / of everything

Sunlight coming through a window. Photo from Pexels.

January 2024 Poetry Feature: Four Poems by Vinod Kumar Shukla

VINOD KUMAR SHUKLA
To get out of bed in the morning, / I don’t depend on anyone / except on my sleep. / If I’m fast asleep / and it’s time to get out of bed, / I find myself opening my eyes. / When I want to stay awake, sleep won’t come. / If I stay awake all night / sleep won’t come all night.

A bumblebee on a daffodil

January 2024 Poetry Feature: Part I

ADRIENNE SU
Every woman / is expected to become. / Always being touched, // always creating, / I cherished being wanted / and necessary, // was glad to possess / a body that could nourish / more than its own mind. // Yet I couldn’t sleep / though I ached for sleep; something.