Supurna Dasgupta‘s translation of Debarati Mitra’s poem: Tears in the Mailbox (From Bengali to English)

Even if there are no letters in the mailbox

        You fill my skies with bouts of warm blue

        Fill the still, silent, solitude

With some glitter, some glistening.

The heart of the mailbox laments aloud

The tired parched wood cracks open in grave thirst

Oh pack this unfathomable gap with golden blooms

Like two pairs of fancy wings on each bough.

In my diseased bed by the roadside, I am Amal

From The Post Office, sitting alone forever

for when the king shall write me a letter.

With painted brush upon my eyes, hence I adorn.

Many yellow kites soar past the peanut tree

Into the sky, far, far away

and the whole day

I watch them glide towards the post office

I dress up my prince doll like a postman

What if he could bring me some letter.

Monsoon letters ceaselessly flood within and without 

 Shall the mailbox only be flooded with tears?

Supurna Dasgupta is a PhD scholar at the University of Chicago in the department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations. In her spare time, she translates, embroiders, makes wishful travel plans, and teaches imaginary courses.

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