Poems | Satyajit Sarna

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Full Fathom Five

When all of this is done,
we shall return to the sea as minerals,
to encrust quiet creatures,
to become homes and coats.

When it rains,
you will run in raindrops with me.
Your grave this opal element,
the endless yawning stretch
between the reefs of the continents,
dipping into the water like the long fingers
of God, concert pianist, elegant in his coat and tails.

Your thin tired chest will house
eels, sunken cities, forests of kelp, the ribs of ships,
the tides beating for you a constant heartbeat.

Which is why, when you slow for corners,
I laugh that you worry about the exchange rate
for your stretched and parched mortality,
knowing that at the far end of the world
glinting like a mackerel, lie these silent silver depths.

A Request for Magic

For Y

Girls do not usually fall through the roof.
The witching hour is come early tonight,
and you ask me for proof,

that there is such a thing as magic,
that I know any, that I can make bright
things, produce one ephemeral trick,

for you, something sorcerous, illusionary.
But I cannot, I am not one of those, but light
of finger, quick of tongue, a common dreary

fingersmith, cardsharp, charlatan,
out of my depth, and unable to fight,
the tractor glow of your holy lantern.

With these fingers, I would smooth the crease
of your shirt, trace the tight
skin around your eyes, fumble like rough breeze

in your hair. This is the last great unknown:
the mystery of your eyes, the grace of your sight,
in this night, silent like a stone.

Oranges, Telephones, Weather
In a warm and dusty land,
I sit on the floor, peeling oranges,
trying your number once a slice
to be each time faced with a wall
devouring denials, monstrous silences.
Are you out of the cold?
            Where are you? What house on what street?
What light warms your window tonight?
Whose arms do you hold?
Whose blanket now covers your feet?
The distances between us are rent,
with untreadable gaps, holes in the firmament,
acres of mistakes and untold lies,
black crosses on a green postwar field,
a message rewritten by spies.
The stack of my peels is high and crooked
like the continents on a tiny planet
stacked atop each other, dotted and ridged,
with geographical histories of loss and regret.
If you hear me now, through some trick of the heathen,
know the last call was a mistake, a haunting,
that it was the Last, the fruit is rotten,
the page is torn. 

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