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2 poems by Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay

a road trip, or a series of fights

i overstay but was not welcomed! like a deportation of control!

—not as if you would stay up past the night when we were together but only when you were

home without me or you never stayed late on a work night after you got to my house but now you are alone and cannot sleep—

what horror! to leave me wanting someone to speak for me!

—not like snatch my words right out of arms and who is there left to defend on this open field—

you laughed while i cried! told me your secrets too late!

—not knowing I should tell of the beauty or what’s left of it but we could not even pull over

unless it was a rest stop or a parking lot and i had made up my mind of its ugliness while you were just discovering—

Kerouac did America with a 50 in his pocket! that could get us one tank of gas!

—not your medicine making you sick, take a slight right, another donut shop—

Borderman said why would you wanna go there! Are you a US citizen!

—not a place on a map, or address, no letters can reach me, tell me it is alright to leave, to lack, to trip over motive and loose trash, to be angry, angry, to give up—

she’s talking about the abyss again! while he has a breakdown in the driver’s seat! talking about you don’t like driving but wanted to live on the road! talking about you don’t know what you don’t like! talking about neither does anyone else you know! but me! a road trip, or a series of fights!

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a road trip, or a series of fights

every road in America is a memorial highway! you’re parking but for what!

—not like country music on a balmy southern night or what you have to unmute or isolate your limbs or memory as dumbness—

the whole thing was a mistake! your own dream that you began to resent!

—not like big little lies in the morning and the next and the life after that or how you define what is good—

always on the precipice of some unknown tears! the Great American Disease!

—not to stick what i can grow with not in spite of, and no use fixing the engine with no car to

put it in and i think i was supposed to call her back—

chronological remoteness! a grand prismatic spring! passive and idle!

—not like i scared myself spending time through the driftless or wanting to feel civilized instead of slinging the piss out the window—

ten dimes don’t make no penny! one nation under the gas pump! another street with no sidewalk!

—not one more poem about moving along the highway but one about your past or your escape and you’re never more than five minutes from home or something—

stuck in America! this road has disappeared and is replaced by gravel! the lies that bind! coming back too early again and again! dead end! a road trip, or a series of fights!

(see page x) (make it a blank page, so the poem dead ends)


Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay is an Indian-born epic poem collage stranger and break-up with America tour—on self-imposed exile from New Nashville, and the author of the books this is our war (Penmanship Press, Brooklyn, 2016) and everything is always leaving (M.C. Sarkar & Sons, Kolkata, 2019), and poetry album i don’t know anyone here (2020).


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