Gone Wild

I have dreams

of you in the mountains.

Meditating yourself into a

perfect state of bliss and oneness

with Shiva.

You as Shiva—because

you looked exactly like him when

you covered your forehead in the white

powders, lines proving your soul

was never mine,

you were never mine.


And now you’ve gone to the jungles

instead of the mountains, and a part

of me wants to find you there:

Imagines the big cats you last told me you saw

(your spirit animals),

I see your eyes meeting their eyes

within the rubber trees of Kerala.


You’ve gone wild

the way I wish I could go wild, too.


Would you have let me follow you there?

If I stayed, would we

have traversed the jungles together?

I wish.


I wish.

Sometimes, in my rewriting,

I return.


I slip towards you,

a striped orange shimmer,

between banana palms

and the sky.

We slink off together,

too busy feeling wild

to bother

reaching for the pen,

the insults,

the threats,

the leaving.


Because we would be leaving together,

both of us leaving the Lands of Rewriting,

the places where humans keep adding

to their own rules.


We would choose the jungles.

We would choose to be


*For those who are curious: this poem is about some of my experiences living in South India that inspired my first novel, MAKARA.  I’m working on some poetry right now that explores those memories and I’m thus far calling the series of poems Makara’s Roots or possibly The Rewriting.

As I Sleep On – age 26

I write about ants because
of how they found me:
Half-naked on a stained mattress.
A sari falling around my body in waves of dark green.
Fabric against blood-colored sheets.
I heat turmeric paste on a little spoon,
and dab the hot yellow substance
over blisters that are scattered across my arm in a sort of quiet
against South Indian heat.
Papaya trees like tall spies with messy green hair
stare in through the window.
I lay back.
Fall asleep by the light of a candle slowly
burning down.
Wiping sweat in my slumber.
Not noticing the tiny procession
of ants, crawling in from the doorway.
A wavy line across the black tile floor.
I am blind as well as deaf and sleep on.
The ants find my limp arm across their territory on the floor
and rejoice as they climb my mountain of skin,
smelling the puss leaking from my yellow crusted spots
and excitedly dive into its moisture,
licking                   eating                   drowning
in the succulent excrement of my wounds.  
*When I was 25, I spent 6 months in South India working with my dear friend Ann of Auroville’s Animal Care for the third time since the age of 19.  This trip however, was one filled with grief and desperation.  Ann was in the process of dying from colon cancer in a nearby hospital while I looked after some of the village dogs.  South India in June is often over 100 degrees.  I broke out in blisters and woke up more than once to what happened in this poem.  It’s always been a special poem to me, and since no journal has published it yet, I like the idea of it existing here.