Decomposition This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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It was the stroll to the rice paddies
as we tread the crackled earth in the Indian siroccos,
trodding and hurtling ‘round the chunks of the asphalt that
gravity had palliated the road of and brought down on the fields. ,
where Appachan gazed upon the wafting waters
and he gazed at the lilies.

Swooning softly with the ethereal ideals of the pond.
Amaranth buds quietly punctuated the leaves,
staunch pillars that refused to budge
no matter how much he stared.

Open, just for him, today,
For we come not to suckle on your nectar
Nor pluck a very fiber from your petal mare

He wiped the sweat off his forehead and as the glisten wore off
and was swept into the mossy syrup,
through decaying teeth
(smelling like he’d had one too many of the Icebreakers I bought him)
he asked me a question.

I stood back and then saw the laborers in the paddies who,
with bare feet and clothed souls,
hacked at the sodden soil,
carving their own unique sculptures of scoliosis
with the teeter of the hoe,
incessantly, soundlessly
plowing into the mud.

The horizon now coughed up a stream
of translucent smog from the new rubber plant.

But I too had noticed how the road seemed to melt into the abyss
the undersea world of growth and harmony
of the vivacious tranquility of life’s hierarchy,
and if I too were to decompose my life’s iniquities
from numbers and statistics and present myself raw to such
spiritual deities as my lost Ammachi,

slide into the underworld of the reeds,
a slip of the sandal,
a knock of the head,
throw my scythe to the side,

if my spine splintered on the rock now,
would the lilies bloom?

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