Backseat Stranger

Photo: Igor Shubin. CC0/Public Domain.

I

3 AM,
The sound of crickets
and lorries rumbling
through the streets.
In the backseat
she whispers on the phone,
dismantles silence.

I avert my eyes
from the glare
of an oncoming vehicle.

II

On the highway
skyscrapers draped
in starlight.
I turn on the headlights
fearing
I might lose my way.

III

I drive on
and yet am
often caught unawares
by a lost memory
pinned down
to the viewfinder.

IV

Windshield blurred by rain,
the city — a pitch black
canvas of asphalt.

Tyres lose their grip,
I make a wrong turn.

V

Night rain,
lightening across the skies
snaps like nerve ends,
‘Georgia on my mind’,
the radio howls.
The roadside dog
moans,
pines for a lover.

VI

The road wears on,
as does the night —
In the backseat now
only a shadow
without a name.

Categories Poetry

Debarshi Mitra is a 22 year old poet from New Delhi, India. His debut book of poems Eternal Migrant was published in May 2016 by Writers Workshop. His works have previously appeared in anthologies like Kaafiyana and literary magazines like The Scarlet Leaf Review, Thumbprint, The Punch Magazine and Leaves of Ink among others. He was He is the recipient of the 9th Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize.