Two Poems

    by Tuhin Bhowal

    Against Translation
    “My secrets cry aloud. / I have no need for tongue.”
                   —Theodore Roethke

    The body moves like dust & our. Rain. Rain from Shillong, Paro, Bangalore.
                   I congeal the fat between my index ngers & thumbs approximating its atrocity. Like the measure of time while browning a roux. Or force. Water
    tanks re ll the hospital nearby & I sni the petrichor like an emergency. Three dogs fuck; I touch myself. The way language can also mean
    & be. At the end of my sadness—the threshold is ecstasy. Once I was a child at the trough of hills, a skinny boy: leek, of pines & peaches—dark
    as mulberry; now—I am the king of fetishes. Feet & pits. Once my legs celery: my mouth gooseberry. Now—it is just a mouth. I mull tea leaves
    beneath the remains of a cup. All my desires light & so melamine. See. “Mutual funds are subject to market risks.” Diversify. Diversify. Diversify.
    Smallcase portfolio or invoice discounting? Tell me your thighs. The body moves like dust. Pirouettes. Wrings like a wound ayed by a blade—
    The body moves. Squirms like a worm in the ass; twists in the gut.
    The raccoon heart dies. This heart dies of a sweetness but late. Love / then
                   die lest love dies.
    The body moves. The thigh breaks; I touch myself
    shake. I was wrong about so much: At the end of my sadnesses, there is no
                   threshold—only ecstasies: Fields. Some grass grows & bends like
    lovers in a war singing a song. Someday I will be sinless as the sun & hum.
    Until then a body. The body moves like dust. Like ower. Rains. The body moves like a canticle in verse: My own personal nomenclature of
    lust. Cruelty kneading me. “Motion is equal to emotion,” wrote Roethke weighing two hundred & twenty- ve pounds of gut vitality. How
    do we enter the world from behind without rupturing a life? The body naked—a circus of bones: Nakedness its only show, its enamel shield.
    Early in this life the millenium turned into the walls of an asylum:
    Teal & north-eastern; taught a boy a body. Fatherless & still a boy: Love, less
                   of a moment, more, more a consequence, long, containing spillage:

    live you. Diseased—I live you. Malignant. “As long as you’re feeling the
                    chill of the knife, you’re ne.” I learn to dice as we yearn to die.              
    That boy
    is me & still only a body. This body is me. All those boys are me. All those                
    bodies me. Me—my mother’s womb. My father’s tomb. Once
    the glance was my favourite shot; now—I stroke myself. See, see, don’t                
                   you see some muscle already?
    Once I lived in a ladderless orchard; now—I
    pluck. Once I was a body; now—I am a body. My mother mushroom.
    My father fruit: Both their hands vermicelli—my ancestry & you.
    Our sad family on the sad ground in a sad country at this sad time. The body
    moves like dust & our. Rains & ower. Then the body moves
    curling towards shame. Petals in that rain. A body is a body is a body is a                
    rose then a body. Then a shrimp. A colander. Then water. Then a river &
    you. Twilight—your knee. I too have a frugal need for tongue. Until
                   the body. Until the knee. Until your mole: A monastery where
    moaned like a bell once. Till then both our bodies, birch, mere
                   attempts in trying to concede like an eye.

    Self-Portrait as Epiphany of a Fat Man’s Growing Gut Vitality

    Mirror, use me.
    Like joy—

    Throttle me Bodiless,
    Totally re ect: Mirage A clear
    Lie. Clarify
    Furniture of
    Fat like

    No plurality;
    Braise me, mirror,
    In a pool of butter
    Slantly as light

    Escapes into
                      Store carbs
                      Inside Stolid

    When you fasten
    Wrists across


                      Do you gather

    of All my

    A graph of
    Cocks jelly,—

                      Then, mirror,
                      Me again

    Until I
    Mass by sting

    Moaning like

                       I ring to

    The           body
    only            An
    experiment Towards

    Ask her father.


                       Is it the yolk
                            Or the
                       albumin That is
                          the egg?

    The whole is
    Not it.
    Never protein

    (Surely you can’t
    have Everything
    But you can want)

                       Who tastes her
                            Cotton in the
                       City yet to feed

    I did try

    Reaching you,
    Says your lover

                            Sugar wet
                       & Of once.

    A surgeon’s hands:
    Never small

    No, always small.

                       Night, try me.
                            Haven’t we
                       always Come

    Joy, leave me
    Hanging Limpid
    & noose
    All trees Yak.
    Joy Joy Joy,
                            Pimp me Like
    Starch rims you &
    you gape
    Your holes

    Into that
    Merit of tongues.
    Bonk me
                            Bugger Blaze
    How one spendthrift
    Of Dante once
    Say halo
    & let the glass shatter.

                            Mirror, you worry me

    Memory & yet that septum
    Mouth cutting as

    Author’s Bio:

    Recipient of the Deepankar Khiwani Memorial Prize 2022, Tuhin Bhowal’s poems and translations appear or are forthcoming in Bad Lilies, Poetry at Sangam, Oxford Anthology of Translation 2022, adda, Poetry City USA, Ovenbird Poetry, Parentheses Journal, South Florida Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Tuhin lives alone in Bangalore, India and tweets @tuhintranslates.

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