Six Poems

Amish Trivedi

America

One more nightmare and I’m out. I seem to remember you dancing
while holding your arm bent back and tensing. Another dream of child
rearing and another about falling down into the gravel and being picked
up, only to be dropped again. I’ve said this before and I’ve said it before.

Ownership

Sometimes, the revolution starts in the yard, but ends in the main
house. What wasn’t tied down floated back out into the middle of the
sea and is a possession gained. If we’re counting again, please consider
my placement of your fingers the first derangement. The other parts of
ammunition are made of words and we know how to fire them at
each other.

Evolution

Once language goes beyond understanding what we see, we can create
new things based on words we want to use. Our brains grew stronger
because we figured out how to boil water and language came from
complex carbohydrates. If there were a limit to things going wrong,
we’d have to learn new math. If we were to believe all words we hear,
we’re likely to forget what we knew before our language came to
take us over.

Number Nine

Your relationship to language has melted down around your ankles
and your toes are soaking in words you’ve built up. Too much time
wasted in front of news that seems to echo only the worst things of
our time. We were made for revolution, true, but we have to step
back at times. When the riot comes, they’ll find you anywhere you
are or are not, so don’t be anywhere at all.

Travel

I always required motion to keep sleep away from me, though now I
regret having missed so much of it. Regret is part of an average life, no
doubt, but I seem to have more than most. I should have never lifted
my fingers to your skin or seen the inside of your mouth lit up. What
we had was a momentary escape to eyes but should never have been
a practiced, played, series.

Dying

This is the last building I’ll see and the last words I’ll read, but I’m never
as far from them as I imagine. We used to sit away from it all and pretend
that silence was what held us, but now the empty space seems more
meaningful than your words ever did. Let me step beyond and see a new
design of my choosing. As if made up sounds had some bearing, I squeak
to say my name now because it has no meaning that I can defend. My
        words
are yours now and I have no tones to borrow from and call my own. All I
have left is a glance that no one sees and a sigh which fits in my chest
tightly.

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