Self as Pictogram

Indu Parvathi


My father drew a spiral

that swirled out, tucked the edge

into the underbelly

of the last loop, called it a sleeping

dog. In the exam hall the tap tap

of pencils dotting the cells with choral

seas of cytoplasm.

On the television screen the dead actor’s

shadow-antics                        the aureole

he couldn’t carry.

Perched on the parapet

of the high-rise, the eagle swoops

down to grab a rotting fish tail from the bin

twenty-two floors below.

Adept in definitions

of gold and trained to make sense

of lines, I unfold the lies in the

dresser to braid them into bearings

of courage.