Poetry

“Divination in the Park” – Vijay Seshadri

1.
Under the bursting dogwoods, et cetera,
Having just finished a pear for lunch,
I lie over the earth, to feel it swim
inside my posture, and sleep,

while full-bellied women pole home with small children,
and black waves fling
grappling hooks and grab by inches
the torn-off, uplifted rocks

stranded offshore like apple trees in the fog.

2.
The upper parts of the earth are slowly thawing.
Less than slowly, the groundwater
rises in the crevices and exposed places,
five strata down where fossils are.

The winter was mild. In the bulbs and empty hives
spring rubs the velvet from its new brace of horn,
and around the drowning rocks
the feral light of equinox

sheds a pattern on the ocean.

3.
To think that before today, of all the days,
I was less than a snake sunning on a rock,
but that now I’m
the lord of the serpents in the temple,

worshipped and adorned in my eloquent lengths.
So what if I fail the test of time?
I cling to the earth as it banks and glides.
Miners enter my abandoned skin

with strings of lights and diagrams.
Gods on couches ring the horizon.

Standard