RINGLETS

His broken lines in a sentence
are filled with sediments
and the quaint powder
from igneous rocks,
the kind you don’t find
near water under the bridge.

He hails me with crumpled papers,
all glued with the saliva
from masticating them
for a greater part of two years.
The third, he feels,
will be when he
speaks more than ten words.
On these papers are the graves
of dead red ants
and leaves from another season.

When I ask him
to show what remains of his
austere body,
he disrobes me first.
Starved of touch
and scrutiny as I am,
I accept the prosaic
hands,
his lanky fingers
that press my upper body
with their tubular ends.
It’s the way he feels
my flesh and bones.
Then he takes his turn.
I see a veteran skeleton
that has lived out its days
for far too long
without pity or appreciable
charity.

Bodies, bodies.
We don’t vary here.
The sky covers us
without smudges.

He tells me
to touch my injured parts with
spry leaves
and gives me ringlets
cut from a banyan tree.

“Bodies
Faces
These are passengers
pacified
and agitated
by
an unknown
initiative”

Together,
we plunge
into the shallowest part of the river
for a swim.
I emerge alone
back on earth.
To find that the ringlets have now
spread their network across the water,
from this end to the other.
A voice echoing with the disappearing
stranger’s tenor saying,
“the deed is done.
the broken lines
in your sentences
are full.
The ringlets are now spread
among your wishes
and your words are no
more mere mumblings
under the bridge”

***

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