Sudhanshu Chopra

 

Autumn

 .
       .For Bob

 

The season of cascade,
of midrib, vein, leaf

after leaf
catching fire—

olive turning
to orange

of burning
muscle,

of torn cartilage:
the season of falling

on the old hip,
of the bruise’s

lasting—
its raging spread

across the thigh,
its stoking

the operated knee’s
dreaming,

drug-injected
ember.

But this, also the season
of letting go

of the deciduous
clasp,

of piling each time
while starting to stand,

of burying the flaming
ambition to walk

in brown earth’s douse.

 

 

 

 

Patch of light

 

The incandescent sheds a cone of leaf-yellow.
Not every foliage obscures the soil troughs;

some cast-off illuminate the ground’s dark
undulations the way penance is done—

bare-chested, of own accord, fully
believing that you sinned in drifting against

the tungsten wire’s resistance, and so now
you must lie— supine, condemned to trample,

beseeching the straying feet to watch out, for
gravity does not succeed unless the body wants to fall.

 

 

 

A scavenger learns to fly

 

What buoys you:
drowning’s fear,

that what still
drifts silently

beneath. You
advance, spry

like polythene.
The distraction

helps, the
constant poking—

wood, plastic,
metal— underfoot

making you
disremember

what you walk
upon: water,

crowded,
almost solid,

with city waste.
Now that you

are stable,
you dig heels

in the garbage
swamp. As you

stoop to forage
a bird-bone-

hollow gasket,
you expect

pinions
to snap out

of the shoulder
blades

anytime.

 

 

 

Sudhanshu Chopra

Sudhanshu Chopra hopes to be a fine poet someday. He blogs at The Bard.