POEM | A Short History of Hunger

Fusarium wilt devoured the Gros Michel,

but Cavendish soon avenged
its brother’s death. You see, they were twins
in most respects. Yellow. Elongated. Soft.
Easy to disrobe.
Easy to digest.
Suited equally to toothless babies
and the toothless geriatric. The workers of Bandega too
had consumed it before the protest. Here and now
on fresh2home, It reincarnates itself as Robusta.
A lot of dying
finds Its remnants
in stomachs
since the First Word. Perhaps, it isn’t
so dissimilar to its history. Valued at 2 rupees a piece,
but carrying enough calories
to break the back
of the oldest beast
gnawing at intestines
surrounded
by a
brown,
sun-baked,
angry,
sweat-stained
body

so easy to disrobe, 
so easy to digest

by railway tracks,
         asphalt,        
heat.

Ankush Banerjee

Ankush Banerjee is a mental health professional, poet and Research Fellow at Indian Institute of Management, Rohtak. His debut volume of poetry, An Essence of Eternity was published by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi in 2016. His poem, Righteous Among the Nations won the third prize at the 2019 All India Poetry Competition. His work has appeared in Indian Literature, Vayavya, Eclectica, Cha, and elsewhere. He can be found at Cats Who Read, re-imagining his favorite novels with his two cats (obviously!) playing his favorite characters.

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