Linda Ashok: Three Poems

End Means

Not here, not through these sagging memories of time
that keeps gathering dust and builds castles on them

that house emptiness such as never drawn by painters
or imagined by a mind-reading-AI, or even your nimble fingers

that promise to draw a canal connecting God to our
end means of making love like two toy birds so mechanical…

But I understand bodies can’t have it easy, bodies must
tear, must break, must kneel, and pray, bodies must dawn

after the moon has licked up the landscape with her
fervent tongue, the way your tongue snowboards over my Alps.


Killing Moths

Cold is a beautiful touch;
her eyes are cold, resplendent-
centuries old fossils clawing for light.

She is like an aquarium;
you can see how avalanches
can make one so soft…
If you place your hands inside
her glassy, gelatinous bod,
you can save yourself a frostbite.

Last month, I dyed her hair
with moonbeam…and pitched a moth
in each crevice of her braid.
While I did so, I enjoyed killing them
and dirtying her brown nape with its dust.


Tongue Tied

How deep is the universe? How many
light years will it take to reach your belly

by way of this mouth carved of the squeals
of gulls and the slow ravage of a faraway country
wishing the death of all its stars.

Our tongues tied at a certain shore
where waves eat their own froth
and shells throw their pearls.

You dig your military claws
on my hip as if to break the bird
by her wings and have her beak
always stuck within
in search of fruits and bees
that your wild trunk hosts for me.

I ask to hold me gentle
and let the sailors row through
this deep trench of longing

but you, regardless
chew my tongue like a cannibal
eating a red, fleshy berry.

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