Gods of Those Points of Light – Poetry by Ajay Kumar

Odilon Redon – The Wheel of Fortune

Before she dies my grandma becomes a girl
visiting all the great rivers & all the great mountains

& all the great animals before the fire.
By the Indus, in a basket on a bed of water,

her baby eyes see indigo- carpels are already open,
delayed dehiscence docks her envy, sickle-shaped fruits

touch the yet unseen blue of the leaves.
She opens her eyes after the Nile floods

her never-mascara eyes, then she closes them
again, the roundness of the hill lose degrees,

mastabas grow where she walks, as she does.
A clan of wild grasses, six feet tall-

She brushes aside a brittle seed-head,
the hulls of which clung to the grains.

She chooses the big grains with ritual-cap hulls.
She must have dropped them, something must

have run over it, rain must have touched it just so,
like indigo does not pollute the deepest fibers-

the twisted turned wrung threads of cloth
that covers her in the hospital ward.

Poems start & end before they started,
collapsing into wicks of a new year candle

that burns with resolved air, propelling
January chariots towards the next bed-

just as many mourning moths,
just as many memories dying

with a crackle, a roused finger left untouched,
limp in a decomposing waiting, on a mattress

filled with water, preventing even bedsores
that gods of those points of light
make space in the sky for.

About the Poet

Ajay Kumar is a student and writer based in Chennai, India whose recent work has appeared in Rattle, Praxis and The Bangalore Review among others.  

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