I can see him moving as a bird alone in anonymous rain
forewarned by blood like every migratory thing and gone
in wind, in perdu, insignificantly battered but I think
his jaw was wired and what arterial embalming
lent in tensile strength to his taut veins
I could not see. Disinfected,
opened and pinned as a pair of wings he suffered
four gloved hands massaging his muscle’s plumes
to relieve the rigor mortis. I was upright looking down
at him, slumped under bruises
like hoofprints when I delivered to the undertaker
what clothes we chose to be exalted.
Denim on fire. And skin and hair. Flesh to tallow
sliding into burning water. Fire flensed the intimate
random plan of his person, the world deferred and his jawbone
fell away like sugar.
No grave-land crows, no ossifragae
will come to tear fresh soil’s knots.
I do not know the portent of the pitch
or direction of song, I do not the know hierarchy
of signs. I know the sky was divided
into four and he was not softly lost
and it does not look like a man
asleep. His mortified surface lay down pale and
unlike itself, absent and so unlike
himself. A desolated thing, his beauty
He’d just started to like my sinning.
What can I possibly say. All other thoughts have quit, I’m begging
this feeling like a hummingbird:
don’t fly away.
Indian Literature Review | Art Allein is a young poet who hails from Kochi, India and now is studying for a Phd at the University of Oxford. Art’s poetry has previously appeared and is forthcoming in a number of national and international magazines including; The Irish Literary Review, The Amsterdam Quarterly, Wilderness House, The Oxonian Review, The Cadaverine, IS&T, Cake and Elbow Room.