Ever Never Fever

Some moandays and bluesdays,
So dang sprawled across the summer earth,
Your tongue in the air like a poikilotherm,
Most of your joint in ashes,
All the light of the world
Having stripped off your eyelids,
And your hunger a mere
Rasam-itch in your stomach
(Not yet that unpleasant gnawing
For an everything-dosa
Or a nothing-but-vada),
It just ups and happens:
A window begins to vibrate,
Then the whole house gets the shakes,
And it feels like you’re jittering
Between four opposing realities,
You legendary, timeless pendulum,
Rattling through their eggshell skins,
And yet you fear — you know
That when the disruption subsides
You’ll land back in the same soft
Life you’ve always inhabited,
That the adventure of an all-new,
All-shiny timeline will elude you;
And you despair, of course, you despair,
But feebly, politely, without the kind of noise
Needed to drown out your still-baying hunger,
Or the horsefly ranting in your ear —
After all, the sunlight still warms your legs,
And the wind so smells of storm;
So you let those storybook characters,
The bears and crones and superhumans,
Back in your brain again, only because
Some pleasures are multiversal,
Because there are always timelines
Within timelines within timelines,
And because no later is better or worse
Than the sweet pain of now and again.

Vinayak Varma, 2020

(I love drawing hands, especially wrinkled hands that have learned to hold time.)

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