Power Cut

Each time that certain sound
Declares a shift from the first world to the third
I shudder, receding into familiar darkness
As if the years have been rolled back
Protections withdrawn
Raw skin held up to the faint breeze
Fresh and hot from the Desert
Bringing with it uncertain ease
And grit, to mingle with the wound

I would not admit to this terror
If this were to happen in the west
In the world that they call the first
“A powercut!”, I’d call out gaily
Even if I was hosting a posh party
“We used to have them all the time
Back home, when there was not enough for everybody”

The perfect hostess is always in control.
Candles would have been placed strategically
They thought these were signs of grace
It was only I, who knew why they stood
They stood for the past that knew no plenty
That knew that what we had in the moment
Could be switched off suddenly
All that stood between you and that abyss
Was that certain sound, as the lights went out.

(c) Meeta Sengupta

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