You and I in the Furnace
by VIPLOB PRATIK
Just as the fire rages in the furnace
when the wind rushes through the stoker
you are blowing your breath all over
the coals of my anxieties
and the embers of my disorders are alight
As the hammer
dipping into water, heating up in flames
beats molten iron
you beat my mind and emotions
The reach of my sorrow expands
At times I feel: how marvelous is your handiwork
What sort of skill is this? Amazing—
What are you trying to make?
You are so lost in your effort
I am afraid to ask about your creation
lest I should hinder you
Yet—should I stay quiet, asking nothing, I worry
some fearsome creation might take place
Tell me—how long you will keep stoking this fire?
—how long you will beat my mind and emotions?
Could it be that you have mistaken me for metal?
Translation by Manjushree Thapa