In difficult times I’m guilty of preening myself

by Satya Dash

I must confess I have longed for feathers
on many nights through the babble of my rushing life
that deft texture of settled smoke that softness
of a lunged whisper I’ve aspired towards in my most
beloved pursuits the harder I work the more cavalier
my canvas is the colors cry the sky winces
the branches shake but the songbird
I summon remains unmoved from its velvet nest
of silken slumber only yesterday I saw a child swaddled
in sleep almost horizontal on a moving scooter’s seat
between a father’s back and mother’s chest
her dreams of such precious butter at peak traffic
her slumber precarious yet oblivious to the raucous buzz
of madness around Lord what do I do
to unplume such tenderness even in the birth
of an ugly wound there is a sputter of colours so divine
you won’t find them on a paints catalogue because
they disappear into the eye’s split second mystique
before a fair shot at christening but I’m no wound
I’m supposed to be a man & I have a name I carry its debt
like a mosquito zooming above a necropolis sucking history
from evaporated blood in air tell me when the ocean
thumps at my mouth how do I use my tickertape
tongue it only wants to preen preen preen my sweet
radish belly emerges from hibernation under the shower
so pale it must be vegetative the hairs on it a fine rivery
silk almost meditative & the beating animals beneath
want to talk talk talk endlessly like caged parrots
but really what can reckless things do but crack & muck
even making love at best is souls in fiendish conversation
to their own selves oh did I go too far now
no no no don’t tell me the time is here to pickle
the bristling fangs of my passion come on God
you do realize it’s only due to them that I know of you

Satya Dash’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in Wildness, Redivider, Passages North, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Florida Review, Prelude, The Cortland Review amongst others. Apart from having a degree in electronics from BITS Pilani-Goa, he has been a cricket commentator too. He is a two-time Orison Anthology and Best New Poets nominee. He spent his early years in Odisha, India and now lives in Bangalore. He tweets at: @satya043


Artwork by: Alex Rodriguez