The moment she tucks in the mosquito net and goes
to bed, her husband’s black hands fumble after
the snakes and frogs of her body: ‘You’re hurting me!
Let go!’ In anger, those black hands twist her breasts.
He says, ‘Listen here, Sweta, don’t be coy.
If ever I find even the evening star
gesturing to you, or making eyes,
I’ll see that you fall into a hellish pit.’
Sweta’s white thighs swing back and forth in space
clinging to the back, her husband’s black back.
[Translated by Carolyne Wright and Paramita Banerjee]
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