Not scripture, no,

but grant me the gasp

of bridged synapse,

the lightning alignment

of marrow, mind and blood

that allows words

to spring

from the cusp of breathsong,

from a place radiant

with birdflight and rivergreen.

Not the certainty

of stone, but grant me

the quiet logic

of rain,

of love,

of the simple calendars of my childhood

of saints aureoled by overripe lemons.

Grant me the fierce tenderness

of watching

word slither into word,

into the miraculous algae

of language,

untamed by doubt

or gravity,

words careening,


swarming, un-

forming, wilder

than snowstorms in Antarctica, wetter

than days in Cherrapunjee,

alighting on paper, only

for a moment,

tenuous, breathing,




to some place the voice

is still learning

to reach.

Not scripture,

but a tadpole among the stars,

unafraid to plunge


if it must -

only if it must -

into transit.

by Arundhathi Subramaniam

Other poems of SUBRAMANIAM (35)

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