When the bombs go off and there is blood all over the TV,
he’ll be sitting in some human corner of the world,
drinking his tea, stunned by the impersonal reach
of his act, just as you are by how far this screaming thing
has travelled – translated by distance into helplessness
at being dumb witness again to the guts-spilled-open
suffering of random strangers.

And this is how we realise the world’s grown-up –
by knowing that the act of twisting a knife
inside the warm heart of your enemy on a summer night
is far too local a measure of your loathing, while to kill people
you do not know and will never see is to speak a language
of the universe that can be relayed on the TV.

Artwork by Sourav Roy

Published with permission from Anjum Hasan.

This selection is curated by Rohini Kejriwal. She also curates The Alipore Post, a daily newsletter stemming from a love of​ art, poetry, music, and all things beautiful.