I have to loosen
the blouse

to even breathe.

when the cassia

against the mauve breast
of evening sky.


Forest is a pyre, a conflagration
of human bodies.

I discard gold from the waist,
the touch of my son.

Dark shadows grow under the eyes
where roots tangle.

Wind fuels the fire, bellows
in the hollowed trunk.

The blue eye of the flame is the cold
silence of death.

* காடு is the Tamizh word for forest.


I pour into the narrow hole of sleep
where bees coat the hive of follicles.

Flakes of skin encrust in waxy dust,
smear on the paper like pollen,

germinate into words, write a
script, take a note of every action

till  my body becomes a book
that no one can cleave away –

mine until the flesh burns, that’s when
lines written here crackle

explode and hiss in fire, quicken line
break to leave me mid sentence

Love Song

The summer your mother died was the hardest for me.
A hawk circled in my unblinking eye as I scraped the desert
for fragments of you in the disappearing dune.

Grains of sand like topaz dust stirred the warm night –
all because the moon could make love thicken,
slick on nerve edges, smear throats of desert flowers.

The pollen rubbed into the skin, capillaries of desire
splintered the air that throbbed with unbearable longing
of the bird that dipped from sky into my aching song.

My words snuggled warm in your palm like a bird.
The fistful of life that ran down your wrist was my heart.