Midair I / Naveen Kishore

I will strangle the dark. Tonight. I will shed the blindness you had gifted me. Once and for all. I will untie the black from my blood-soaked eyes. What have I got to lose? You took all I had. Leaving me a pair of eyes that wept blood. Pierced by memory. Drop by drop I fill this empty vessel with rage. And impotence. And despair. Deep inside this body of mine nothing is forbidden. Nothing allowed either. Nothing is.

The bile rises like raging fever from the poisoned well of my stomach. Twisting my intestines. Thrusting its way upward. Swallowing my tongue in its wake. Erupting. Like vomit. Foul. Rancid. A curdled dream.

I arrive uninvited to the wedding feast. Rather I am trundled there. In a wheelbarrow. Misshapen and broken my body stares back at the man who pushes me there. He is wearing a black hood. Like the hangman who leans nonchalantly against my body. Watching me writhe. Thirsty leeches drink blood like wine. Lurching their drunken way into the sewer of my mouth. The bride’s mother straddles the father of the groom who eases his cock into the bride’s arse. This causes the guests to smile indulgently as they smear their faces with chili powder. The priest looks the other way as he pisses on the altarpiece. He then proceeds to rub his hands with the blood of the virgin he has sworn to protect. Naked, the maggots march past in a show of strength and salute the dead rat as it rises from its grave like freshly baked bread. The bride’s maids sit in the gutter as they flagellate their bodies with black leather whips and allow the neighborhood children to stitch their mouths with pink nylon string. The lone musician plays Summertime on his untuned piano and watches helplessly as the keys turn into tiny rattlesnakes and slither into his colon. The groom waits patiently in cue to kiss his bride-to-be.

There is revelry as the great dark embraces its child-bride. The night at the rim of the earth beckons those that want to die the death of the lamb. I feel shame seeping into the pores of what had been my flesh. Like sweat on a naked body. Shame. Unveiling my shame. Mine. Revealing. Scar after burnt scar. I rub salt into my wounds. To keep from healing. From becoming scabs that would fall off. Make way for new skin. On the contrary. I want to hurt. Poisoned meat served at the marriage feast. Yet again? My flesh passing from hand to hand as it made its way around the table. Remember the man who had sat at the end of the table? The stillness of his manner as he rehearsed Judas? Or was it simply the discarded shadow of one who had already betrayed?

I climb the funeral pyre.

Naveen Kishore, publisher Seagull Books and photographer.

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