Rabindra K. Swain
Stalks of Lotus

It is ridiculous to raise a fence
around the steps, but that’s it.
Raising a prayer from the graves
of lips or a flower from the bud
of a slit belief is how
it relates itself to life,
true or fictional. Admit,
in the fence you have a plinth
deeper than an azure despair.
You have made your steps auxiliary
with the gravels of slow hurt.
Each step, into bone’s corridor.
Traces of light stale at each end
of the tunnel. What’s dark
if it is seen, and life?
What is a fence if it is not
like a palm feeling for another
on the float of a last breath
that suddenly turns its face north
and blank, imparting to it the substance
of a lung to close upon
the night enveloping its lawn—
lotus stalks from the navel
of mud, or of a dwarfish god?