Adithya Patil is pursuing his Bachelors' and lives in Bangalore, India. His poems
have appeared in multiple publications including Muse India, Modern Literature,
Gulmohur Quarterly, and EKL Review among others.

Ghazal from the Start

What does an unfinished sher cost from the start?
A chance to escape what you caused from the start.

Your hand is the farthest my hand can reach,
but you, my beloved, are lost from the start.

Whenever my mother smiles, & pockets the sachets,
I wish fast food came sauced from the start.

The last sky goes saffron before it goes dark.
Come, now, study the Holocaust from the start.

For all to have never been at all to be free
as the stillborn are free
, paused from the start.

Manna for the still unloved spins through palms
of air as if it was never tossed from the start.

Lives of a perpetual emergency: Sentences
rushing to exhaust from the start.

I walked on the surface of a river—what use
were my miracles?—they'd crossed from the start.

Paid off in a ghazal, the cost from the start:
The first sher laments what it caused from the start.

The last rhyme unhooks his dream, but Adi wakes
to begin again, to accost from the start.

Ghazal from the Sky

A trilling ringtone ensues as birds fall from the sky.
Someone says listen to heaven's first call from the sky.

You thought you were the puppet all along. Until grinning
madly, behind the clouds, stood the doll from the sky.

Stillness is a pose for tragedy: a taut grey lake in
monsoon, a windscreen before the ball from the sky.

Elsewhere, an iridescent peacock fans in the rain,
and dances insanely to praise its maal from the sky.

They fall out with each other and the play. On the street,
a tattered Ram kicks Gopal in this brawl from the sky.

The smoke holds its guard, but the cigarette wafts away:
How the clouds sing the coming of a trawl from the sky.

With cradles in their beaks, shall the storks return again
to drop, at better homes than ours, the haul from the sky?

Those in that quiet search of us may be revealed by voices
that come through—fragile & so small—from the sky.

From the years that stack on nothing, to a dream of lost
stars, like unfettered confetti, that crawl from the sky.

Adi endures the paradox of life within a paradox,
the gift of nothing, & all from the sky.

Ghazal of Change

Landscapes remain unchanged as seasons change.
Each night I let you go, my reasons change.

How each night draws up an act of daring:
Your blue hair in the moonlight beckons change.

As if in a dream, the moon gleams brighter.
It draws open my fist, it reckons change.

Soon, I should start to believe all your lies. "Proxy
moons," by night. By dawn, "the suns change."

In another world would I still be here? The way
convicts are when their prisons change?

Peace draws after war draws after peace draws...
I sharpen my knives but your weapons change.

Moon-key-bath on the radio! you said, laughing.
If only you saw how your puns change.

& though Adi removes his name from the last
couplet, his ghazal of change shuns change.

Ghazal: In India

Suddenly, you're concerned: How do things feel in India?
Of course the josh is high!, but how's the zeal in India?

Beloved, concealed in every parlance lies a praise &
Concealed in every praise lies an appeal in India.

Life imitates a Bollywood movie? No, a kitschy soap
opera. The real muddles the reel in India.

Here, the witness evades truck accidents by habit.
The Government and the Gods share a freewheel in India.

They've gifted us the impossible; & as we unwrap
our present, the future plots to reveal in India.

What dies sings all around: Visions come suddenly to you,
Like rivers gushing out of a cracked heel in India.

To be here, now, of all places & times one could be in:
a moment drifting through guns, germs and steel in India.

Adi puts death to a plebiscite in his mind. They vote
his God-forsaken life to a repeal, in India.

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