Poetry / February 2011 (Issue 13)


by Krishnakumar Sankaran

You came for butterflies, a glade like a pause
between hill and river. A wind in flux
flocked with blind colors that met and ducked
into holes in a sky held up by branches.
The branches were old fingers raking sky.
We walked into a pause of leaves, curling
wings that cracked like bones. The wind ran through you
on invisible wings. We didn’t stay long.
It wasn’t long when you couldn’t stop coughing
up a keening knot, a weight in your chest.
You tasted ash. Your tongue, a dry white paste.
We heard later of green X rays with motes
rotting microcosmic in your lungs like
indifferent skeletons in a glade.

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