Chickens and Kalashnikovs tumble
from the postern of a blind truck.
It zigzags, fades into dust.
The old man picks up the birds.
The child expects the gun to be warm
and his chagrin will make you so.
Nowhere sprawls everywhere.
The hut hosts a business of flies.
The scraw nibbles at skin, feather
and the metal so dead, heavy and cold.
And this settles a new township.
Children sell cold. Old ones sell heat.
Sometimes the eyeless truck
returns sniffing for the things it lost,
but picks up no scent, or perhaps this,
a recurrent succubus, the child sees,
the old too, and the heat seeks equilibrium
we know. Fever flows. The chickens,
drained of blood, turns to be ice.
The calefaction of those guns, used
when a sale goes wrong, marks
the user’s skin with signs as old as lightning.
Kushal Poddar is a poet and father. He has authored seven volumes of poetry including ‘The Circus Came To My Island’, ‘A Place For Your Ghost Animals’ and ‘Eternity Restoration Project – Selected New Poems’.