When the lights go out, I walk into a wall by Satya Dash

and suddenly I’m a moth serenading the stunned light
bulb. O winged glass, through your whorl

of God’s deftness, from a corner of this midnight
forest, do you see my broken nose, its septum tottering

from indecision? How it spills blood like a waterfall
forking gravity. When my uncle was depressed, I blamed it

on his innate goodness. I declared to my mother— see, it’s not
good to be this giving. Now I weep from sneezing, shoot

arrows of muck from my summer bosom. Is there a hole
in the universe’s couch down which I could disappear like a pencil

sharpener, eat soundless, rub exfoliator on my seeding antlers?
It seems as if all this workout is priming my hinges

for a palanquin of reward. When people ask who died, I could point
to a star’s solstice and break into laughter. Please excuse me,

I’m still learning to spider my way through cruelty, mostly my own.
I must be in a pickle to eat it. From my balcony, every room

in view is a secret island; every island a lucky stone; every stone
a luscious sea that grew past beauty’s shock. Consider the truth

conjuring red berry from the passage of a blow. Consider fortifying
the awning of a fluttering mouth. Your gaze held dear, penetrates

my bruise, tongues the old mask trembling like an elegy. Healing starts
on the wet side of the mirror. Look, there’s so much of me to consider now.


Satya Dash‘s poems have been published or are forthcoming in Wildness, Redivider, Passages North, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Florida Review, Prelude, The Cortland Review, Poetry@Sangam amongst others. Apart from having a degree in electronics from BITS Pilani-Goa, he has been a cricket commentator too. He is a two-time Orison Anthology and Best New Poets nominee. He spent his early years in Odisha and now lives in Bangalore, India. He tweets at: @satya043 

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.