so I’d lost what I’d set out to find

longed for

& set out to find

when language pulled me to itself like an old sheet

wrinkled with overuse

I wore tatters for my crown

my beard reached the ground

with birds & cairns & shouts

syllables & nests

& mice chased time for a bit of game

walnuts passed between us—it was a game

of passing time

time, intricate around language until

only stubs remained—

            cracked shells

he had long wiggled out of shells

& bled, shifting to bone

his eye still looked at me & we loved

& I inched on formless limb towards his eye

or was it love


Monica Mody is the author of Kala Pani (1913 Press) and two cross-genre chapbooks. Her poetry also appears in the Indian Quarterly, Poetry International, Eleven Eleven, and Wyrd & Wyse, among other places. She holds a PhD in East West Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing, along with a more rarely used degree in law. Monica was born in Ranchi, India, and lives in San Francisco. Twitter: @monica.mody / IG: @monicamody 

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