Chris Vasantkumar

I Can’t Tell If the Light Is Whispering “Loss” in My Ear or Imprinting Darkness on My Body
May 16, 2024 Vasantkumar Chris

I Can’t Tell If the Light Is Whispering “Loss” in My Ear or Imprinting Darkness on My Body

 

At the last house,
beneath the Persians,
outside the picture window
 
We spun a proscenium
of spiderweb from nothing
but months of the lambent
 
Helix of our Netflix. Here
moths come in in their flannelettes
to die under the taps
 
In the abattoir of their Empyrean.
Its unsealable clerestories admit cities
that, seething on the midnight walls, die
 
Each dawn. Their chitin middens miscast us
in the guilty chronology of gods
who can’t be bothered. We are cliffs
 
Of light for insect barquentines
to dash themselves against
with the splut of breaching fish. We
 
Are bugs in their garmins: even ants
veer towards us from their boulevards,
fill the tonic bottle and the kitchen scale
 
With wildering millions.
These words but poor guardrails
for their Teslas. Just now a single bat
 
Creaks its passage between Banksias. Someone
or no one positions everything across the valley,
counterpoises the spiders, the doonas, our faces;
 
The wasps in the walls, marsupial sounds
of quasi-flight, and the echidnas we divine
like God on the basis of obscure earthly traces.
 
And these are only the things I have names for.
All of it everything or nothing
or nothing.

Chris Vasantkumar teaches anthropology in Sydney, Australia where he lives with his partner and two sons. His scholarly work has been published in numerous academic journals. His poetry also appears in BoomerLitMag.