Submerged

What does a 6 year old know but to stand
on his house’s ramp not holding back his grin

like the rain that has been falling since morning,
and watch a nervous motorist wade through

twenty seven inches of water? Later, he would
strain the slipstream with his palms, and drop

a squirming catch into the transparent bowl
he had placed outside when the clouds had begun

to rumble, thinking the fish wouldn’t notice
the change in surroundings, and continue

to swim, only look like it’s dying, perhaps
would actually be dying behind the glass,

but in no case the unburdened flash of his teeth
would strike the fin, and topple it to a depth

where no gills breathe, no engine whirrs.

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To break a heart

you must love it first,

to an extent that your lover
whiffs your body smell

from a mile, and at your sight,
starts wagging his tail,

even though it is more of a
poignant fur ball now

after neutering.
When he nuzzles your knee,

do not cup his tiny face.
There would be no carbolic soap

to wash your hands with later.
Simply drop crumbs from your

lunch. Let him lick & swallow.
After he has lifted his head,

shield against his stabbing gaze
with straight back.

For each step you climb
from there to your destination,

you know you’re descending
deeper down his heart.

Why trains get delayed

You sit on the platform,
waiting. A child wrings

out of the father’s grip,
and begins to straggle

around your bench.
You’ve seen each other

for the first time,
yet he trusts you

with his circle’s starting
point– and its end–

brushing his hand by
your knee in each

passing, binding you
to the chair

with invisible string,
like a plaything

he does not want
to depart yet.

Novelty

Two dogs fight over a tossed bit
of biscuit. Someone pens the

metaphor to describe people
going for each other’s necks.

Praise be to our fingernails
extending into knives,

guns that became our hands’
appendages. If not for the

stifling chemical, its projectile
novelty, where would we be

on the evolution scale?
Perhaps still borrowing

our thought from the lower
quadruped, deriving our energy

from their hunger.

Chequerboard

Working well past dusk,
returning home at first light;

removing the night-darkened
shoe; from the sock, heel’s

emergence: a callused patch
of white.

Sitting by the window,
perching legs atop the sill,

and– watching the dull mullion
drink the morning ray–

bending forward to rub palms
along the elevated tibia, reach

the underfoot creases,
the pulped toe,

believing in the body–
a source of pain & relief–

squaring to a close.

Treating paper like paper

Tearing it into two,
like child(ren) from parent(s).

This plural,
of a different kind.

The parenthesis bulge:
not the mother’s

lined womb,
or the father’s arm

cradle.
But the horizontal

u‘s in s
in siblings,

juxtaposed,
looking

in opposite directions
for their folk(s)

in a wind that blows away
bits of paper.