Mistaken Identity

Yes, yes,
They can kill us.

They can kill the coal miners,
the masons, the farmers, the labourers
the reapers, the fruit sellers, the vendors.

They can kill Akhlaq, Pehlu
Or a million names who have
Become number 14 or 41
Or 20 or 02
Or unidentified countless bodies
Or names that have flashed for 30 seconds
In a ranting show before slipping
Into the forever grief of their loved ones.

They can kill in Nagaland
In Kunan Poshpora, in Sitalkuchi
In Manipur, at the borders
In countless, nameless places.

They can kill us with absolute impunity
All in the name of ‘mistaken identity’
Or the identity they abhor.

Moumita Alam is a poet from West Bengal. The most important element of her poetry is her voice of dissent. She questions all existential norms of patriarchy with her words. At the same time a heart full of love resides In her works. Her book The Musings of the Dark is now available on Amazon.

Featured image: Assam Rifles personnel stand near their burning camp in Mon district, Sunday, December 5, 2021. Photo: PTI