I want to be remembered like slaves on a guilty conscience,
I want to be inscribed on the last page of your science notebook,
with doodles around my name,
red ink trailing across a scrap of brown paper,
I want to be someone with a history.
I want to hurry,
and write down pages of bucket lists,
and sit and stare at the blank stretch of the wall.
Pretending that my fingertips are out of reach,
and my hands are too small to hold the brown matki of butter,
and Krishna is no longer around to bring in a plastic stool,
for me from the next room.
I want my name to be the name of a new bacteria;
a friendly one. A rod-shaped bacteria that would help,
people get over breakups and rush hour traffic jams.
I would like to be the air you breathe,
and this sounds creepy – but I want to bless myself,
for travelling through the interior of your sweet lungs,
disguised as a random oxygen molecule.
This poem sounds like my bucket list,
and my pen is old-fashioned,
drowning in a bucket of dark blue ink,
coming up for air, only to find itself being dragged by its neck,
and being rubbed against a coarse piece of white paper.
I – want you.
To stay here,
and whisper words of cynical comfort,
even though you’re only an AI program,
without a body of your own.
I want to rest, in peace.
In step with the oceans of the world,
so fare you well dear.
Arya Mohapatra being a keen slam poet and a published author, regularly performs original pieces of poetry at various open mics. Having performed in the World Congress of Poets which took place in November 2019 and she is the third-place recipient of the Rabindranath Tagore Awards for poetry, 2020.