Zhuangzi in Quarantine
After a few days of isolation
in sleep, he dreamt of himself
as the virus
wiggling hither and tither
in the bloody tissue of its
to all intents and purposes a virus.
when he woke up,
he found himself, a human again.
if he was a man dreaming
measuring the beads of the end
tearing down civilizations
and reducing lives
into ticking numbers and graphs
or a virus dreaming
he was a man,
plotting his own death
when everyone's asleep.
The one who saw the world from a better
perspective (than me, of course) told me
that there is no hope left in this part of the
universe. I tried my best to be positive about
what he said, up to the very end, but then
I gave up. We were walking in a rain-soaked
evening, through a sepia-colored alley and
the stars were just starting to twinkle from a
past that dates back to the birth of humanity.
We walked past a tavern, as he continued
'The language is the drug that drags us
through nightmares.' The silence was
dialectical, words negating themselves.
It is a religion, this silence, it is a practice.
He said, it's beginning to end and it has been
so long. All we can do is nothing. We have
exhausted the time, we were arguing stubbornly
even though we knew what's wrong.
We always knew. The day we knew is when we lost.
He pulled me into the tavern along
and we placed ourselves in a dark corner.
He ordered whisky. A few cigarettes. Soda.
"It's all going to dogs." He sipped. Bubbles
in his glass. A world turned golden in the glass.
On Studying Anatomy
Have you ever thought of the human body as
an unscrupulous garden?
A kid chasing away the butterflies
A moon moving in its ponds
and the silence of the normalcy.
It is a place confided in absolute
secrecy. Landscapes with unending
pain. And a world that decays with time.
Rohith is a medico from Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. His poetry has been published in magazines, like The Sunflower Collective, Cafe Dissensus, Madras Courier, Raiot, Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, The Bombay Literary Magazine, The Punch Magazine, and Coldnoon journal.