ONE POEM – Srinjay Chakravarti

The Gecko’s Tongue

All its feet
firmly on the wall,
it plays a solitary hand
at patience.

It will not miss
a trick—
or treat.
Its bulging eyeballs
on a roll,
it makes an advance
and then stops.

Hanging from the ceiling,
it looks down
on the bipeds in the restaurant.

Stalking on padded toes,
its tail twitches
as it feasts
its eyes on
the banquet of insects.

A slurp
around its lips,
flicker and dart—

and the moth
comes to a sticky end.

‘Gecko’s Tongue’ was first published in Snakeskin. Reprinted in Aloka Magazine, Select Indian Poets [Select Books] and Srinjay’s second poetry collection, Apollo’s Breath [Writers Workshop, Calcutta])

Srinjay Chakravarti is a writer, editor and translator based in Salt Lake City, Calcutta, India. He was educated at St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta and at universities based in Calcutta and New Delhi. University degrees: BSc (Economics honours), MA (English).

A former journalist with The Financial Times Group, his creative writing has appeared in over 150 publications in 30-odd countries. His first book of poems Occam’s Razor (Writers Workshop, Calcutta: 1994) received the Salt Literary Award from John Kinsella in 1995. He has won first prize ($7,500) in the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Poetry Competition 2007–08. Find out more on his website:

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