December, New Delhi.
When the metaphors slide the scalp back to its abyss of bone. When
the simile proves like
more human than is.
When you heard the metal rod striking bone. Yes, it is bone.
The palate halved. The tongue is starfruit on a bough. Do you look away
from the two-legged words in the bus? Do you see a man's hands
gripping the wheel, turning the machine into an elegy going nowhere?
When the long ride jerks into devastation high as jungle palms &
plane trees. When the parrots disappear & nothing, not even air,
will beat death into the men who breathe it. When they force her friend
to watch, making him beg with a woman's voice. I am begging
When the scenery, it is the world cut out from flesh, moves inside the
body. When the men are inside the body, they do not see their mothers,
sisters, daughters standing in the dark withered stairwell. Later, those
mothers will beg the world to spare their sons from execution. Their
sobs tear the hair from their own stained scalps. It was no dream.
The men lifted themselves like torches through her screams. When they
come to believe they are more ether than bruise. I am begging you.
When the woman they have eaten carries the likeness of the universe in
her belly they have smeared with meat. When the wheel turns away from
the paved road, the angels strain like mosquitoes on the windshield. The
opal shadows of insects buzz in the skull. When only God may look at the
blur within & know there is nothing fast enough beyond those
windows, nothing dead enough out there to kill.