A R J U N R A J E N D R A N | Monsoon 2014
The doctor found a museum of wax
in my ears: a microcosm
of people and things from the past
including a board game played
with tamarind seeds, a whistle:
orange on one side, green
on the other and shortcuts to graveyards
like the one where my grandpa
was buried when I could barely speak.
After all that oil, the soft ends
of feathers and the cruelty of nibs,
nothing remained of the fungus;
but I was again able to hear sparrows in the attic
or a storm mimicking my mother
tongue’s laundered phonetics.
As an adult now, if I let the wax
build up in my ears, I’m sure it’ll only
resemble lonely park benches
and faces of fast-food employees
in obscure towns along the highway.
The color of the fungus will neither
be orange nor green but that of a sky
above chemical plants-smoke
so thick the moon resists its presence.
Arjun Rajendran's first collection of poems, "Snake Wine", was published by Les Editions du Zaporogue in February, 2014. He lives in Austin, Texas.