Sanjida Yasmin – Two Poems


September 6th

I want to suspend time this evening
I want this rickshaw ride to never end
I feel bad for the rickshaw-wala
for having to pull two full-sized adults,
though, I don’t feel too bad
because we are both on the slim side

it only took 24 minutes & 50 taka:
from Uposhohor to the shore of the Padma River.
I am waiting for you to make a move-
so I can look at you in a different light,

a negative light

but all you do is pay for the ride & ask me to lie
when my Abbu calls to see where I am at 8 P.M.

you ask me if I want to indulge
in some panipuri & spicy pickled mango
I say no & you listen

you should have insisted

I would have said yes

because they don’t make
panipuri & spicy pickled mango in New York,
the way they do here – in Rajshahi.

Villanelle of the Forest Fire

you came & left like a forest fire
temporarily keeping me at bay
I didn’t realize your eyes spelled liar

you played me on the strings of your lyre
I didn’t expect you to leave me astray
you came & left like a forest fire

you made my life go haywire
after you left that day
I didn’t realize your eyes spelled liar

this feeling of emptiness will expire
with due time, everything will be okay
you came and left like a forest fire

you wanted everything there was to acquire
you knew that I wouldn’t obey
I didn’t realize your eyes spelled liar

I will never bother to enquire
your reasons for leaving that way
you came and left like a forest fire
I didn’t realize your eyes spelled liar.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

Beauty can be more than what meets the eye, but it does not have to be. For one, polar bears and butterflies and architectural wonders are not labeled as symbols for their personality, but for their aesthetic value alone. Why then, is it considered shallow when humans are judged on that same scale? Is it out of the arrogance that humans are the most advanced creatures of the planet that we need a different criterion altogether to determine beauty, intelligence and behavior? Though it may seem unfair, it helps one find the true gold amongst a pile of pyrite. The difference that sets them apart is in its worth, its true beauty. Thus, the true beauty of a person can be determined as a jeweler does, through value.


Sanjida Yasmin is a Bengali American storyteller and poet whose work explores South Asian traditions, transient movements from East to West and most importantly, the mystery of time. Raised in the Bronx, NY, she graduated from The City College of New York where she wrote her MFA thesis on the senescence of mortals.