Vaginas don’t have Homes/Dream of Apples

Two sisters, Dishani Roy and Ritamvara Bhattacharya, compose poems in sync. Here’s a jugalbandi of two intense poets and their poetry of protest. A Different Truths exclusive.

Vaginas don’t have Homes

My body begins in my stomach-
A storm that aches,
It harbours empty despair.

My navel is my mother’s only proof,
My blood is always my father’s.
Greater things, they say, are always for men,
But, my mother must never die-
For, while the power of the burning pyre eats me slowly, my navel smirks;
And the sky that looks down upon me…                            
Is a man,
Clouds, however, are women,
Clouds dance, clouds rain,
Clouds don’t have homes.

Rainy days are scary,
His finger tiptoes up to my barren breasts,
He calls it pleasure.
Clouds growl, I scream,

He still calls it pleasure.
The flesh near my navel, he cuts and tears,
The same blood…my father’s blood escapes from the navel,
He doesn’t care.
I’m convinced-
Women possess blood, only when impure,
Only when conquered,
Only when defeated.

I plead, I threaten, I shout,
This is not my kingdom,
I am not a king;
I forget, mankind is only kind to men.

My vagina resists,
My father’s blood flows from within me.
My father calls it pleasure, over and over again.

Clouds are raining pain.
I am too.
My sister giggles.
The other room is unsafe too, I am afraid.
She yells with joy, “It is raining,
It is raining.”

It is raining, indeed.
Petrichor has always smelled sweet,
Blood is sweet.
My father rejoices.

I lie unconscious,
Like mother had been.
Father’s face, gradually, blurs,
His pant is always loose,
He refuses to stitch.
I refuse to stitch too,
I let it bleed.

Now, now…they are carrying me… there, where my mother resides,
My father cries…pretends for the second time in his life,
He is not lonely, I swear;
My sister remains,
His last prey.

Clouds growl,
In shame.
It is raining.                                                              

I am being over.

My little sister cries too,
Her tears more true.
She prays to God.
She doesn’t know-
God is a man…
God is a man too,
And, that vaginas don’t have homes.
For, we are not kings;
Mankind is only kind to men.

My mother and I…
Yes, we…are vagabonds now.
We are free women.
But, does ‘free’ always mean ‘homeless’?
I do not know.

My sister prays, still.
In a place, she calls

©Dishani Roy, 5.5.2016


Dream of Apples

I peer into this room
and the door closes
Where am I?
this is my space

I am a coiled rope
that you hanged yourself with
tired of looking at the sky
The sky loomed you down.

Two Tahitian Women is an 1899 painting by Paul Gauguin.

Two Tahitian Women is an 1899 painting by Paul Gauguin.

Father’s voice was a thunder
after ma and you
were vagabonds
lifting heavy legs
on and off
in the quiet soft grass.
Baba used to stand at the forehead of the staircase
and echo the blood through his voice.
I never touched your veins
but yes I am the intense shadow of your tears.

The trees were wet
after you were gone
The rain sluiced through the gutter
wanting for some stories.
I press my navel
You say there is the root of my identity
I am but a woman
I discard.
Yes I am a woman
I have blood
I will give birth
to my baby
in the septic tank
but not die as a vagabond.
My womb never smells petrichor
as yours.
Yes there is my home
I am not a vagabond
I don’t wander as clouds
Clouds dance and rain
I do rain but I sprout
in the sorrel darkness.

Your little sister
whom you left
with a stable of gold
in her home in her prayer in her tears
Your little sister
stitched the barren apple tree
with tempting fruits.
He plucked her raw red womb
He crunched crushed his teeth                        
A gap between his tooth!
Yes your sister
has got him fallen
She is not dead
but a fistful of ants
at dawn chew
raw red apples
She is your sister
with a coiled rope
and a serpent’s mouth.

©Ritamvara Bhattacharya, 5.5.2016


Dishani Roy writes under the pen name of Mui and the three-lettered name describes her innateness. She is a sunny, vibrant and gleeful girl in her teens. She is a student of Sudhir Memorial Institute, Kolkata and is currently, in the twelfth standard. Her poems touch the range of mellowness of Autumn to the deep abyss of the silent winter and again it embraces the haunting cries of the sonorous cuckoo in spring. She has earned her name in Performance poetry and has been ranked second in the recently held Kolkata Juke Box Performance poetry. Mui writes to birth silence in boldness, to paint thoughts and to embrace life.


Ritamvara Bhattacharya

Ritamvara Bhattacharya

Ritamvara Bhattacharya writes from a darling's heart, Darjeeling. She believes in what Sylvia Plath said, "And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." She writes for the pleasure of doing so. She writes for the 'I am' in her heart, a voice that creates ripples and sensation
Ritamvara Bhattacharya

Latest posts by Ritamvara Bhattacharya (see all)