Santanu Das

A Prayer in Lebanon, 2020.

“I’m taking the hits, it’s good.

She’s under me, she’s safe, and the rest

I just don’t care.”


But it is late, Mama. I wish there was a chance

to whisper a prayer in your ears, 

the one you taught me, all this while

                              Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Take this time, and hold me close, how heavily you breathe

how comforting it is to pass this body, and follow

this hymn, even as you face the blow, hurting yourself-

Mama, look at me, how I wish to say goodbye.

My head swells, like a balloon- high and low, tied ahead

quiet a heavy lull, floating, someplace else- far and low-

no more school, no more lessons to know, a merry-go-round

now isn’t that cool, Mama? Every place must be so

where you play and run and talk to a tree

& come back home to see pale husky-

so you must see Mama, that this place which I leave,

this beautiful place of sand and fog, our manzil

must not break into glass anymore, nor play with fire, 


our mehfil, how long will we burn without soil, how far-

& realize that this smoke will gather forever,

these trespassing signs and wonders, above the Red sea,

past Mount Lebanon- how hard, it is, to breathe –

                                  Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem.


(Dedicated to Alexandra Naggear- that 3 year old girl who passed away in the Beirut Blast.)

Santanu Das

Santanu Das is an Indian poet based in Kolkata. His works have appeared in Live Wire, Spark, Borderless, Line Rider Press and elsewhere. He tweets at @santupecha100.