White Whale Review: An Online Literary Magazine Untitled Document
WHITE WHALE REVIEW
SUMITA CHAKRABORTY
Sumita Chakraborty is the assistant poetry editor of AGNI Magazine and a graduate of Wellesley College. She writes poems and critical essays, and has worked with Lucie Brock-Broido, Frank Bidart, Joan Houlihan, and Dan Chiasson. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in BOXCAR Poetry Review and Muddy River Poetry Review, and she has published book reviews on the blog Gently Read Literature.
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Sumita Chakraborty

ALLEGORY OF NAVIGATION WITH AN ASTROLABE

                after Paolo Veronese’s painting of the same name

 

The angled cannot see the camel graze. They not know to

sense the faint against the obscured, or that round be the shape of

 

the planet’s arc. They not know of vulgarity or the twin argonaut spears

sharped just so, nor too of the bulk and strain of what the seeing is.

 

Nor the leopard pelt. The astrolabe made to wait in chill rooms

with white walls, pinned behind glass, against painted thigh and

 

creased columns, the sextant in its stead on the ship’s deck, held

by two young boys with dilated pupils. In high February, the most

 

slight Kamëlopardalis, swallowing spiral and cluster within, unsighted.


Sumita Chakraborty

DANAUS PLEXIPPUS

I.

 

Eyes dripping over, you see monarchs clustered
on red clover, Agent Orange falling

 

from helicopters to settle on their wings. The old

 

Lunatic Hospital is now abandoned in disrepair—
no, it is a dance hall called Camp Joy.

II.

 

At first, it was that you could not get out of bed sometimes, and I’d think—That’s not unusual, I can’t get out of bed sometimes, too. Next I caught you murmuring, and I thought—That’s not unusual, I talk to myself too, sometimes. Then I found you sitting in the freezer, skin tinged blue but not shivering.—I do not sit in the freezer. Then there was the matter of the tailor-birds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[....]


Sumita Chakraborty

III.

 

The night has started to fall, you said; the police say

 

I can no longer stand within 50 yards of you, where

 

are my birds? so I watch you through

 

                                           a window, your deliberate

 

movements unhinged, your fear of butterflies and

 

pesticides, the irreversibility of suffering, exquisite.

 

 

 

 

Copyright © Sumita Chakraborty. White Whale Review, issue 1.1


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