Poetry / March 2017 (Issue 35)


Thalattu

by Edward Eng


—for Ramanathan

i.
whim
is all a
body leaves
with and ennui
is all god has
for the embalmer

but that which
i could have
said i would have
said and that which
you could swallow

your subconscious
was forced to swallow.
the iron belly shrinks; in its
place a mouthful of clots
and riceballs.

ii.
at the funeral
tablewords are choked
to pieces.
i am dumb
to you, and yama

and kala and agni
whose names
I repeat without
translation
lend a chinese boy

satisfaction by
whale's pitch,
the lapse in sound
as water meets
pyre.

iii.
after
is the notion
loved as
masquerade masks
and granddaughters,

some cinematic idea
played by
a supporting cast
whom memory
has blended into

an indistinct
fiction of who
sits where and who
pours the widow's tea
in your wake.

 
 Edward Eng is currently reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Warwick. His poetry can be found in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Softblow, amongst other places. He is also a playwright whose plays have been performed at multiple venues in Warwick, and has recently worked on a co-written piece on the UK's response to the refugee crisis that will be restaged at the National Student Drama Festival in Hull in April.
 
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