The burden of unadulterated love
She stands inside
the misty walls of our shower enclosure
her legs spread apart, only slightly tilted
at the knees
like Jim Finch’s right angled elbows.
She looks at me accusingly
Pepe, gittu lege geche, she says, after months of no sex.
Can you untangle them for me? she asks expectantly
with a tinge of embarrassment in her eyes
and shy comfort in her smile.
A matriarch’s wrinkled bottle-gourds
My grandmother was one helluva woman
Her girls - virulent and destructive,
were low on inhibitions.
Julia, a public health professional bludgeoning stereotypes,
receiving calls from men she met at workshops,
curious about pleasing their wives in bed.
jee, Khaleque bhai, bolen, she would say
as she rode off to another event on the back of a Honda CM-70,
her legs nicely perched on the side like a barbie.
Dahlia, a recitation artist who laid down her sub-machine gun
at the end of the war,
but never gave up on less aware relatives,
on the importance of a clean toilet and oral hygiene.
Saleha, a quirky comedian
who threw her favourite fountain pen
out of a moving train, on a dare,
just to see the sense of bewilderment in her baby brother’s eyes.
Yet all I remember are my grandmother’s breasts from her advanced years,
like wrinkled bottle-gourds
still with some life left in them
longing to be touched
dangling like the pendulum of a grandfather clock,
the ones she’d let her favourite grandchildren play with.
M Sanjeeb Hossain is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Oslo University where he writes about the Rohingya refugee situation in Bangladesh.