Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

— Virginia Woolf

Shinjini Bhattacharjee


August 29, 2016


In which a girl climbs an orange tree six times daily


to peer into its hidden darkness, hunched

up against itself like a peeled moon.


Hungrier than the inside of a locket, more sober—

how the bark, the branches liberate around it.


She remembers her mother, how the forest took her

as if she never existed. She watched the wind slipping

rudely inside her heart, rapt and aware.


Her mother used to draw fish on her tongue to ward off evil.

She told her once that the hands of the dead fold the prettiest.


The girl plucks her favorite orange and pins the beak of

the steel spoon on it to hammer the shape of a domino.

Because she smells of bird notes and lingering hills,


the people barely notice her. She takes out

a small patchwork brooch from her pocket

and places it on one of the branches of the tree.


She looks at the flowers pouring space


inside the grass,

how sad and brief


they are on the eyes just before they tether themselves to oversized moths.




Shinjini Bhattacharjee is a Pushcart nominated poet whose work has been published in Cimarron Review, DecomP, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Red Paint Hills Poetry and elsewhere.



The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.

—Cervantes, Don Quixote

© 2016 The Indianola Review