Transmutation lurching from eating to sleeping and back to make wings of iconic orange to the monarch’s antennae its short life span still hot and momentous the monarch doesn’t dream of greatness but aspires towards seasoned equilibrium of the tight-rope-walker with no trampoline below for an audience: teeth chattering on a ring of fire the girdle that renders the hip’s blasphemy holy I discovered the heat of this alchemy when I fell asleep in your lap I discovered having swallowed fire I couldn’t dissipate the elements at will a gastric phenomenon hormones regaling a fiery bath with refrain even the monarch swallows hurt to grow in nano-bladders milkweed toxins harnessing scent of poisons to warn off predators the blackbird that eats butterfly wings falls sick did I tell you I have gamma ions running in my veins the doctors told me— I never recovered from your nuclear diet now the state waits for vaporized urine to rain back & skin hangs on bone like shirts on a summer clothesline believe it or not the apocalypse isn’t this but yet to come & my story is still being written on the penultimate page of the lepidopterist’s thesis while on the final page already inked are both our obituaries
Midnight Train Carousel spin of electron pollen sticking to corners of a serpentine quadrilateral formed by the opportune displacement of dewy bodies by waves of post colonial gales turning the sulfur-pounded sky tidal with a tapestry redolent of intricate designs inscribed on the archaic walls of the imambara I visited to spend an afternoon gurgling in my warm idiot throat the heat of another afternoon we spent here your resting head making of my black denim lap a bloom of night tulip blood names of birds shimmering on your zinc forehead the layers of occasional gold summery refractions glint my skin rustling beneath fabric : a chiffon doused in the fragrance of your effervescent shampoo : packaged and labeled in batches at a laboratory that spent years perfecting its precise chemistry to guarantee such wild parades of the wily olfactory crystal hooves jutting sharp pressing mark into thick calluses of time who knew nails could relieve
From the Author: Some of my latest work orbits the inundation of unease and doom we as a species continue bringing upon ourselves. As a poetic mode of thinking, I’ve been invested in the intersection of human desire with nature, in attempting confluences of myth, memory and image, hoping to uncover any resonances and dissonances in the process. Both of these poems attempt a strategy of links of consciousness as a way to connect ecological impulses in our interior and exterior worlds already past the brink of irreversible climate change. Both try doing it with a fragmented lyric to accentuate the precariousness on this precipice.
Satya Dash is the recipient of the 2020 Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize and a finalist for the 2020 Broken River Prize. His poems appear in Poet Lore, ANMLY, Waxwing, Rhino Poetry, Cincinnati Review, and Diagram, among others. Apart from having a degree in electronics from BITS Pilani-Goa, he has been a cricket commentator. He has been nominated previously for Pushcart, Best of the Net, Orison Anthology and Best New Poets. He grew up in Cuttack and now lives in Bangalore, India. He tweets at: @satya043.