While praying I suddenly think of a swear word

Satya Dash

          a checklist of roses     becomes a quilt

                    for a night of battered love     no brickbats not

          the thin membrane of bats     their ultrasonic

                    thrums     despite a scrumptious yolk

          wallows in me     a dapper mammal

                                        mammal I was     mammoth I am     resting

                                        on a hammock rocking me     like the divine mouth

                                        of a valved alligator     the openings of toothy

                                        beasts salvage me     as if I’m a hustler of recovered

                                        pleasures     which animal’s throat doesn’t like

          water     I like wafers dipped in somebody else’s

                    water     call me delusion call me     a fisherman’s rope

          I was never the slimmest     amongst the slivers of hope     I cut

                    corners on the road my body     was once searched for folds

          to grope     my wings stitched by mother     nurtured

                                        and oiled     now vanished no I didn’t cry     because to fly

                                        I didn’t deserve     but those feathers my mother did

                                        think about the souls wronged     whose maws

                                        must chew their own wings to hide

                                        the quick trail of parched blood     do they rest

          beneath our stucco feet     carrying the weight

                    of a beleaguered fate     that befell condoms

          and conquests     before you invited the mist that sank

                    low to wash your sordid nests     show me those

          bins with black bags of smiling bone     shallows shorn

                                        of a femur’s consecration     can you make my name bio

                                        degradable     say yours without vowels     ask God

                                        to peep from a ventilator     while you disemvowel

                                        at the end of my prayer     billows     on a bronze bitten

                                        tongue     the moss green smoke of an inward hum


about the author