Poetry | ‘An Immigrant at Lake Ontario’ & one other poem by Golam Rabbani | Issue 38 (Feb, 2021)

An Odd Ode on the Third Skin

The third skin glows with an autistic smile.

The skin smiles
while the ego dystopic strife makes the skin blush,
creativity gives it pimples,
and the bile of Sphinx purifies it.

The skin smiles with its ornamented pointy teeth.
It turns white, brown and black with the changes of meditations.
The third skin meditates
as long as the exhibitionist mediocre rapes you through.

Genders have an infatuation with the skin.
They peel off their first skin to put on the third one.
It transforms the reptilian aura, even the lizards envy.

The skin allows them to hide
within the wreckage of sensibility,
within the chaos of divinity,
and within the delirium of intellectuality.

The third skin with its autistic smile
celebrates the hallucinations of love,
just like the green fairy.
It dives into its own glory of Yaba days.
It vaporizes the disillusionment like the smoke of weed.
Yet, crowds cheer to have the third skin and
to be the third skin.

You can see the blue veins of blood under the third skin,
the blood that changes color.
It turns red while being ambitious,
turns yellow while being traitor,
turns green while being insane,
and turns black when being celestial.

That’s how the third skin rocks and rolls.
and we dance with it.
We mimic it.
We intensify its doubts.
We laugh with its autistic smile,
and we become the smile.


An Immigrant at Lake Ontario

I smell the waves.
the wind blows through,
even though
I am in a glasshouse.

The sense of belonging
peels off the sense of past,
yet Lake Ontario
smells of Meghna.

The turbine blades of windmills
standing on the waves
cut through
the wind of memories.
But the serene waves
sing the songs of healing.

The lands, old and new,
shape and reshape the soul.
Destiny unlearns
the toxic stories of skin color
and finds the voice
in the chorus of humanity.

I smell the waves in the glasshouse.
And listen to the chorus
where
the river Meghna and Lake Ontario
sing the same tune.


Golam Rabbani is a settler immigrant of color in Canada, living in Kingston, Ontario. He grew up in Dhaka, Bangladesh. As an academic, he is involved in postsecondary teaching and research in Bangladesh, Belgium, and Canada for more than twelve years. At present, he is completing his PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University, Canada. He holds a BA and two MAs in English literature and linguistics. His poems appeared in poetry collections, such as Monsoonletters: A Collection of Poems and 9th Edge. He is also a singer and performer trained in Baul folk music and Indian classical music. He has won SSHRC Doctoral Award in Canada, Erasmus Mundus Asia Regional Scholarship in Belgium, and numerous awards for music and performance. Details about his academic and creative contributions are available at www.golamrabbani.ca

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