Plus Ca Change
Poem By Mandira Mitra
Make no mistake
I am not looking for you in them.
Not seeking empowerment
In the words, translations, linguistics
Of their foreign tongue. Not tracing you
In the coordinates of strange lips, hair, flexes,
Or configuring a feminist revolution
In sweat-cigarette odours of rows of bodies
Affirming by denying you.
Not loving them, their fathers, grandfathers serenading through time
At midnight tryst with long awaiting wives,
To love you. This quest is not for you
Nor what you never yielded. Not the circularity
Of what I sought but never sought so in vain.
In crossing centuries of guilt and shame
Quests acquire a face or name
But things change and remain the same.