Three Poems

    by Tabish Nawaz


    As the fingers caress
    new leaves sprout out of the eyes
    weeping the sunlight,
    garnishing – with the greenish glow.
    The mouth – wet with the shadows – turn into a cave,
    the Oak tree billowing out
    its twigs painting itself over the forehead
    of the rising sun.
    The bough trembles
    like lips – smiling – on the sad faces
    twisted and locked, probing empty spaces
    to burrow in,
    to lit up and burn – the bodies – into ashes.
    The heart an iceberg
    floating to break
    wreak havoc
    its tip visible like a bloody nose
    making love an exercise
    in psychoanalysis believing
    the sum total of the bodies – the anatomy – would bare the soul
    make it.

    Inside out

    Many loves bubble in the heart
    new chasing old – as would one predator
    another – from its territory.
    The rivers binge on civilization,
    slurping the periodic table whole,
    lose pace
    like memories with regrets turn into bogs.
    The plants poison themselves
    protecting from a herd
    of gluttonous goats – chewing the gut away.
    The blood caking their beards crimson stalactites stabbed into
    the breast of eternity spilling time drop-by-drop.
    The horns – long unused – bob
    into existence as a swan song sweetening
    in blood.
    A flock of herons – white on garrulous green
    crumpled like balls
    of my many incomplete letters
    lying in the corner of the weekly routine and schedule.
    The frenzy of sunlight warming a cold summer
    configuring the body into an arrangement of feelings
    moving and yet still
    like one of a blind person’s
    housing the world within inhabiting everywhere.

    Tabish Nawaz teaches Environmental Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay. He has recently published his first short story collection Opening Clouds, Fermented Rain (Hawakal). His poems, essays and short stories have been published in The Critical Flame, Shimmer Spring Anthology, Ethos Literary Journal, The Punch Magazine, The Conversation, Indian Review, The Bangalore Review, Flash Fiction Magazine among other venues.

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