Two Poems by Shinjini Bhattacharjee

Shinjini Bhattacharjee

Shinjini Bhattacharjee's work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Bitter Oleander, Cimarron Review, DecomP, A-Minor, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. She is the author of two chapbooks, There is No Way to Alter the Gravity for a Doll (dancing girl press, 2016) and In My Landscape, I Am Not Real (Glass Lyre Press, 2018), and serves as the founding editor of Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal and Press.

This Side Up

somewhere, a fish reveals the truth
on its fins, cold and imperfect against

the river. It is a bad day to sit beside it,
ghosting the surface with metal moons

I grow between my pointed ribs.
Body of fragile, body of museum,

how do you dress your wounds,
what do you do to light that the

sky refuses to keep, how do you
console children that borrow wisdom

caught in its own undoing. This
tradition is quiet and remarkable –

a field aching with the heavy roots
it buries to shield, mouth holy

and drowsy at the edges. Of course
the damp body will produce a miracle -

listen to the frenzy of gravity before it
knots itself to carry the earth gently between its teeth.





A mother not mine, but close enough
to listen to mama conjuring a daughter’s

name from darkness, how it fights her
tongue because it is heavier than anything

she could ever carry, like the thin skin of
her womb, red and heavy with the hunger

and courage of something new. The daughter
was a body first, the wetness of a thin skull,

a name wrapped in a fruit. For her, the darkness
wasn’t empty—it carried the miracle of an

unmeasured mouth and heart. She could bite
the bitterness of an old blood. This is a

distinct life, a fish that clots the river with its
movement. Sometimes light swells with the

thickness of its being; so does a hand that
doesn’t know what to carry. It is pure alchemy—

how a breath leans towards something that
can’t sustain it. What would leave behind

sediments, if not the blood and bone.