Poetry 2017 Longlist, Nupur Chowdhury

Crispy Fried Chicken

Nupur Chowdhury

A thunderstorm beating against my ribs,
The sun glares into my eyes and screams –
Wordless terror; as claws, a monster’s dibs
Snatch her from the coop. ‘Take me!’ I weep.
‘Tsk tsk – too old. It’s a party!
I’ll need tender meat.’

Stench of sweat, rotting flesh
Or minds, festering in metallic confines,
Crumbling feathers, dying babes
Snatched by demon hands from damnation’s cage.
Wings torn, breast ripped – she was mine!
‘Crispy wings, stuffed breast’, they wink and smile.

Crimson hands feed crimson eyes
From the dinner plate of corpses;
Beat my wings, scratch my feet
As he too is torn and twisted.
That makes two; two gone four to go
Of the little ones I tended.

Their crimson blood must’ve reached the skies,
For it’s bathed in burning red;
The demon’s hand darts in again
Into our cursed little shed.
A wordless cry, twist, rip; the bloody flaps of dying wings
Into the butcher’s knife, I fly; one final remonstrance.

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