break fall

once

in the night,

when my mother wasn't home

an enlarging O

of a mouth gobbled up my face

 

and carved a hole through which many shaped men came 

one after another

 

each time all i could do was wonder

whose mouth my face belonged to

and how, a first kiss could

 

disintegrate the intricate fibers sinews, tissues, tubules

that until that moment,

held my heart in functional tact

 

the many kisses since then

at slicing, exacting, disorienting

speed, have landed me in endless pits of cunning sands

breaking my fall, only 

 

to once again

swallow me whole and excrete me back into the abyss

 

how alive

these weightless throbbing parts can be 

 

how lost 

in his tracheal dark did

i opiate, dissociate, calm

and soothe myself into

delusions of what it means to

 

love

 

another break in fall

full of gleaming visions 

of a cooling milky rounds

 

I find 

myself in a pot of self-made salves

finger-painting my mind's sky

 

constellations 

 

frayed pieces of cord, soiled, brown, stringy

like the bottoms of weeds i have pulled out

 

I am 

extracting, gathering, collecting

securing, strapping, tying together

a bridge of sorts

 

- Sethu Nair