Love in the Time of Curfew

When curfew fell on the city
like resounding khaki-coloured fog
Everyone had to rush home
after a shopping frenzy
When the convoy emerged from the dark
like a dog, smelling flesh
Even wives of police officers started
worrying about their husbands

When the good men have
all gone home
to get warmth of their wedded concubines
keeping me half-paid

They said they would set
all dogs free tonight
but I don’t see any dogs around, not a single one
all fled with their cars screeching away

Montu, the rickshaw-puller, said
he would surely
reach me home, or whatever
before the night is over

Way before the whistle was blown
bar tender of the canopied panshala
have also put out his hurricane-lamp
and galloped the last ounce, drove away insomnia

It’s only I
devoid of love, looking for love
on the ghostly streets of Dhaka
in the time of the state of emergency.

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