After the abrogation,
but before Shaheen Bagh–
the Ayodhya verdict was in the news,
we all sensed a deepening dark.
I think we were in Kolkata–
or maybe I have that wrong;
we were celebrating your love–
I wanted to write you a song.
It might have included lovers
holding hands under tube lights–
maybe dust, or my father’s hair–
I tried, but it didn’t feel right.
My friend, I did not tell you,
but that was the day I decided
to learn how to sing of the dark times,
to banish the censors inside.