A funeral for my youth

A funeral for my youth

A funeral for my youth 1920 1278 Satya Dash

When I belch vines of what won’t go in after a lovely meal,
I know there is an alley of discontent around the corner.
Thieves approach with soft feet and softer souls.
New riches shift shapes into liabilities.

When my lungs bounce in fear of the future, I recall
the words of my father, a doctor of Tuberculosis. As a boy, I heard
the word pulmonary from my father’s mouth more than God
from my mother’s. It was only after I left home for university
that the tables turned in favour of God.

Hope of the Lord on certain nights arrives through Whatsapp texts
and leaves me amber and naked on bed sheets while I dream
of running through satin orchards and finding buried sunlight
in a garden’s nether. Then in mornings on buses and in cabs, I catch
myself looking at strangers in boyish devotion, their hips and shivering

phones, hands shifting from one to the other like confused tourists. I know
I house secret lagoons under my tongue.
Unlike lozenges, these don’t like dissolution but prefer the velocity of gush,
one continuous regurgitation through the canals of the body,

sculpting the spine and scaffolding ribs, leaving just enough cracks
for howl and prayer to seep through. This is what it’s about:
to join, to form, to cleave.

Header photograph © Chris Nielsen.

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