The stillness of the day moves in his limbs he responds to my touch, tilts his head.
Eyes are closed – the first place to lose light and warmth: the dampness of the earth under the tree wraps around the toes.
He breathes shallowly like the caterpillar, every ounce of energy flows to the exploding wings – the colors like that of the ribbons sold outside the temple.
The pinwheels whir in the breeze from the sea hair tousled he looks at the pigeons that fly from the spire at once the recess of his brain fills with bat excreta the pungent want slops down the matted hair he asks, is desire a muscle or a nerve?
In response, the little bodies of the bees hit the window pane fall on the bed of asters, their wings a plank of light pointing to the sky their bulbous saps drown in the dust of pollen.
He has given up carrying the heads of people he killed the tree of breath sprawls on the water like the mangroves of Bengal the slow-moving river guts the snake pits gouges his face. Ghouls clamber out of swollen eyes the lines on the chapped lips clamor in desperation: craving is a long straw ingesting death in small sips.
Across the street, the boys leave in twos and threes the stones polish as their feet fall to the drip drop of rain no story gets out of the land where the hills rumble scar the songs of the birds that break the silence of the stacked stones till the grey of the sky explodes.
They feel in their spines the lightning strike the chinar sheep break the fence as they splash the stillness of the lake limbs swim up, one still adorns a sock eaten at the toe. The wool dyed in the vat boils with juices of berries turns the eyes the color of the sap when a shrapnel tears through.
She wakes up, nervously grabs a knife. The fruit splays on the plate the family eats it, the meat is let to marinate in the brine of loss. How does one arrange what has splintered across the table? Payback. She shakes her head, pushes the sleeve of her tunic
dismantles the stockpile that fences her house – the rubble of bones, pellets of flesh, the moon marks on nails, adamant warts. The spray of dandruff like burning stars scatters in the garden, the smoke palls his face as she throws a handful of soil over the eyes, the mouth open in prayer.