Gopika Jadeja

Gopika Jadeja publishes and edits a print journal and a series of pamphlets for a performance-publishing project called Five Issues. A recipient of the Charles Wallace Scholarship for Creative Writing, Gopika is also a translator. Her poetry and translations have been published in journals and magazines like Indian Literature, The Wolf, The Four Quarters Magazine, Asymptote, Vahi, etc. She writes in Gujarati as well, and is currently working on a project of English translations of poetry from Gujarat.


Newsprint in the dark

And I beside you am
stripped and stripped and stripped to luxuriant bone…
Agha Shahid Ali

Waking too late in the morning or not
having slept at all, you insist on reading
all the newspapers before going to bed.

I can hear the sound of the crashing train
bomb blast in your head. I smell the prison
sentence, custody death in your breath.

On your skin, I feel the water closing over
swathes of villages, big dams sinking dreams
I drown with you, surface again, float 

I taste the newsprint on your fingers
that too late trace my body almost asleep.
I sink with you into our shared darkness.

I clutch at you, we clutch at each other
emerge into the night singing
our darkness.

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