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I’m looking for a thing called grace

— Satya Dash

in the countless urns         on your shelves
in the intricate mesh         of your garden ribs
         though I’m always eluded         by the flying leaf
torn from the bough         where a dove sits         never noticing me.

Even outside the airplane window
clouds fleece                  the language of muscle
         masses of water holding sway         on a zillion cells
                                softly deciding the fate of bone.

On a staircase of stygian gloom
steps race ahead         evoke the light metal of continuity,
                                                                        hues of arms and hips.

How do I explain involution—   hairs rising
like arduous flashbacks         those first knots
         staring at us eternally         like nests of foreboding angels
                  tasked to watch over         our ceaseless
scowling sprinkled         with occasional grins.

I find questions         answer questions         best.
Promise of quest         renders the period
                  a passable lull,         each word spoken a necessary
                  speedbreaker         for the irrationality of beauty.

Here         hesitate         shiver         then dance
                                             anthem into stem.
Touch the lotus         on your head         free from endings
         a million roots in mud         singing to the sun
                  manifesting in tunes         of your blooming moan.

The result—   a huddle of hills
conifer-ing mist         squinting tornado         licking lips
                                    waiting to wreck us         into one.

Here, we’re         pallbearers of parading time
                  waiting for a turn of phrase         like resting hounds
                                         to unhook our satiny sails
         to lay bare the stir         of pocked constellations
         our birth marks evolved into.


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