My body carved from abandoned bricks of a ruined temple,
————————————-from minaret-shards of an old mosque,
from slate-remnants of a medieval church apse,
————————————-from soil tilled by my ancestors.
My bones don’t fit together correctly————————- as they should —
the searing ultra-violet light from Aurora Borealis
————————————-patches and etch-corrects my orientation —
magnetic pulses prove potent.
My flesh sculpted from fruits of the tropics,
————————————-blood from coconut water,
skin coloured by brown bark of Indian teak.
My lungs fuelled by Delhi’s insidious toxic air
————————————-echo asthmatic sounds, a new vinyl dub-remix.
Our universe — where radiation germinates from human follies,
————————————-where contamination persists from mistrust,
———————-where pleasures of sex are merely a sport —
where everything is ambition,
everything is desire, ————————————-everything is nothing.
——————————–Nothing and everything.
White light everywhere,
—————————but no one can recognise its hue,
no one knows that there is colour in it — ————–all possible colours.
Body worshipped, not for its blessing,
————————————-but its contour —
——————————————————-artificial shape shaped by Nautilus.
Skin moistened by L’Oreal
—————————-and not by season’s first rains —
skeleton’s strength not shaped by earthquakes
————————————-or slow-moulded by fearless forest-fires.
Ice-caps are rapidly melting — too fast to arrest glacial slide.
————In the near future — there will be no water left
or too much water that is undrinkable,
————————————-excess water that will drown us all.
Disembodied floats, ————–afloat like Noah’s Ark —
no GPS, no pole-star navigation, ————–no fossil fuel to burn away —
————-just maps with empty grids and names of places that might exist.
Already, there is too much traffic on the road —
———unpeopled hollow metal-shells ————–without brakes,
swerve about directionless — looking for an elusive compass.
Sudeep Sen’s prize-winning books include Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems (HarperCollins), Rain, Aria (A. K. Ramanujan Translation Award), The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (editor), Fractals: New & Selected Poems | Translations 1980-2015 (London Magazine Editions) and EroText (Vintage: Penguin Random House). His words appear in the TLS, Newsweek, Guardian, Observer, Independent, Telegraph, FT and broadcast on BBC, PBS, CNN, IBN and NDTV. Sen’s newer work appears in New Writing 15 (Granta), Language for a New Century (Norton), Indian Love Poems (Everyman), Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe), and Oxford New Writing (Blackwell). He is the editorial director of AARK ARTS and the editor of Atlas. Sen is the first Asian honoured to speak and read at the Nobel Laureate Week. The Government of India awarded him the senior fellowship for “outstanding persons in the field of culture/literature.”