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Arundhathi Subramaniam

Maggot Mission

Crashing through brittle white caves
of yielding tissue,
the intrepid worm bores
a spiralling silence
into the abyss of apple;
through syllables that clatter noisily
like horse-hooves on cobbled streets
on rainy nights to words
that whisper to each other
like wheat stalks in the wind,
the worm inches towards
the round unspoken wisdom
of fruity interiors,
until one day
with a crisp
the apple digests
the maggot.

The Archivist

Beloveds are best documented
out of the corner of the eye
where the retina meets the imagination.

You have the freedom now to archive
all that the taxonomists haven't yet sauteed
into points, cleaved into zones.

The austere collage of seasons
that is his face and the caesura
of the navel, counterpointing
the serrated comma of a forgotten
appendix operation.

Breathe deep the wild marsh scent
of groin, wonder at the obstinate
gradient of toe and middle finger,
observe in the gentle curve of calf
and flank, the karmic imprint
of a life that once lolled negligently
on pillows of silk and goosefeather.

Recognise too the puzzled snarl
of pain that suddenly
the eyes.

Perhaps it would be wise now
to tell him of your love.
Profundities are best uttered in profile.


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