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Poetry 2013 Third Prize

 

 

Thoughts

Vinita Agarwal

 
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Thoughts are peeler like, they scrape nerves
or like a drill machine wear holes
in a soggy handkerchief brain
they are Noah’s ark of sorrow and grief
Sheltering one of every kind
as if arresting the species of time.

Thoughts use you. They tame the lower lip, attack the upper
zone-out eyes, rake cuticles, crush phalanges
Re-hash every awkward moment
wonder what went wrong where
thoughts are the socket
where penchant remains plugged-in forever.

In the boulevard of thoughts, scents linger
dangle from fingertips like blooms from tree branches
stifle lung’s traffic of breaths
blister the tongue, stain earth’s carpet
punish the winds.

Thoughts are steel to be chewed
a sword at work
like acid against the lining of the stomach
thoughts dig up the 3 a.m. soil of night
and palpitate softly at the hearth of dawn
like a pound of flesh heavy on day’s back.

Just occasionally, thoughts are some loose night air
a cool moonlit oasis amidst churning chaotic days
they loosen the bricks from walls, flex the hands of time
lend speed to life, brighten its gait. Just occasionally.

 

 

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