Sujata Bhatt

po_Bhatt-Sujata1Sujata Bhatt (born May 6, 1956) is an Indian poet, a native speaker of Gujarati.

Sujata Bhatt was born in Ahmedabad, and brought up in Pune, India until 1968, when she emigrated to the United States with her family.

She received the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia) and the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award for her first collection Brunizem. She received a Cholmondeley Award in 1991 and the Italian Tratti Poetry Prize in 2000. Her translations from the German include Mickle Makes Muckle: poems, mini plays and short prose by Michael Augustin (Dedalus Press, 2007). Bhatt was a visiting fellow at Dickinson College, Pennsylvania and currently works as a freelance writer.

THE KAMA SUTRA RETOLD
Sujata Bhatt

Then Roman Svirsky said,
‘It’s illegal in Russia to write about sex
so it is important
for Vasily Aksyonov
to write about it—‘

You laugh,
but I want to know
how would we break the long silence
if we had the same rules?

It’s not enough to say
she kissed his balls,
licked his cock long
how her tongue could not stop.

For he thinks of the first day:
she turns her head away
as she takes off her T-shirt
blue jeans, underwear, bra.
She doesn’t even look at him
until she’s in the lake,
the clear water up to her neck
yet unable to hide her skin.

They swim out
to the islands
but he doesn’t remember swimming;
just brushing against her leg
once, then diving down
beneath her thighs    staying underwater
long enough for a good look,
coming up for air    and watching
her black hair streaming back straight,
then watching her
step over
the stones, out of the water.

She doesn’t know what to say.
He wishes they were swans,
Yeats’s swans
would not need to speak
but could always glide across
other worlds;
magical, yet rustling with real reeds.

The sun in her yes
so they move closer to the pine trees.
When he touches her nipples
he doesn’t know
who is more surprised
(years later he remembers that look,
the way her eyes open wider).
He’s surprised
she wants him
to kiss her nipples again and again
because she’s only 17 he’s surprised
her breasts are so full.
She’s surprised
it feels so good
because he’s only 17 she’s surprised
he can be so gentle
yet so hard inside her,
the way pine needles
can soften the ground.
Where does the ground end
and she begin?
She must have swallowed the sky
the lake, and all the woods
veined with amber brown pathways;

for now great white wings
are swooping through
her thighs, beating stronger
up her chest,
the beak stroking her spine
feathers tingling her skin,
the blood inside
her groins swells

while wings are rushing to get out,
rushing.