Bijay Upadhyaya

She counted fireflies,

And gave them names.

She told them stories of faraway lands,

And asked them to carry her stories in their tail-lights.

When they left,

She said them goodbye,

Not before asking them to visit again.


She stayed up all night,

Humming songs,

And reading poetry.

Sometimes in the dead of night,

She went to her backyard

And watched birds as they slept in their nests,

And sang them lullabies.


In the wee hours of morning,

When the birds woke and started to chirp,

She went to sleep, smiling.


In evenings,

She untied her hair,

And let it dance in the zephyr.


She wore lipstick of her lover’s favourite shade,

And kissed ferociously.

Ferociously, she made love too.


In monsoon,

When raindrops cascaded down her window pan,

She boiled coffee and remembered her old lovers,

She remembered all the funny bits,

Like of the times when they farted and blamed the cat,

Or explained their pink underwears.

Sometimes, she remembered the sad bits too,

And cried.



She, who stayed up all night and read poetry,

Is lost now.

Nowhere to be found,

Nowhere to be seen.


If you see a firefly,

Glowing with her stories,

Or a bird,

Chirping her lullabies,

Will you ask them about her?


When the evening breeze,

Lands a hair strand on your face,

Will you hold it against the breeze,

And let it wiggle in the wind?


As raindrops tap your yards and lawns,

And unfurl in your window shield,

Will you listen to her mirth and cries?


When you cross paths,

With her old lovers,

Will you ask them of the smell,

And of the taste of her lips?


Will you miss her,

Though you have never met her?

Will you love her,

Like how she would have loved you?


In the dead of night,

Will you also tell stories to beetles and bugs,

And hum lullabies to birds

That sleep in your backyards?