A B Datta lives in Bombay, India.


All night the cat waits beyond the door.

Our bed surrounded by empty glasses like hollow marrows.

Someone was being pulled out of her house by her hair

someone turned to a face and sucked in a fist of ice.

From the phone tower sleeping kites fell one by one.

First touch. Marsh crackling then engine then flutter then orphan

noise. Our sense of danger rests under our ribs like a bowl

of leaves. Wind fucking mirrors. Should we rise and

stir our own seance, our haloed air. Who knows us.

The morning news is now irreversible.

These sheets know. They don't move away.

We keep lying and eat the dark.

[With a line by Nick Flynn]

I've moved.

A kite's single shrill from above empties everything below.

I lied before I moved and will again.

I lay above you like a ship desperate to sink.

The ship was emptied and now floats.

I've moved my essential books, too, and they sip me.

Some theory suggests, that which cannot be said is not

any more important than which can, which has.

While emptying out I found a photograph of you.

No. I found many photographs,

but none of you. This, in turn, made all the photographs about you.

I found a few bronze medals with their inscriptions erased

I couldn't remember what i'd won them for.

I've moved too, I was one, empty, the continent says.

And here you are. I don't think I want you anymore.

Which means my language is suffering. Which means.....

I dream often that language is dreaming of finding my body.

Yesterday, In the empty park I knelt on the grass

and pushed my hands into damp earth to snatch

a wild daisy, and touched the cold white roots.

Then I sat waiting for the drizzly sun to soar one final time.

Yesterday, on at least three occasions the vespers told me

to forgive myself. Then I spilled into night, its furious machinery.

I've moved into an apartment where the previous occupant

has left three Budgerigars. Some theory suggests they

will die if freed. I leave the cage door open all day.

They crawl its roof upside down, plucking their plumes

and don't notice any difference, not the empty space

where the bars should be, or beyond it. They ignore

my invitation; behave as if there is no opening.

Who taught them that?

Our Conversation

All night
the reader
does not read.
he snaps
of swans
his head.
In this
dark, he
is decorated
with questions.
On his wall,
of his heroes
scythe through
shit and
a meal
of dead stars.
Father distance.
In the far
beating house
his own
is occupied
with imagining--
a woman
taller than
her door.
The woman
with everything
he crosses
at the crossing.
The body
with eagles
of everything
swooning in
and out
the body
its gleaming
fucks, this
body too
will continue
without him
will sense
another sea.
at this
can you
he whispers.

Look at the home I built of breathing.

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