[Poem] break fall by sethu nair


break fall


in the night,

when my mother wasn't home

an enlarging O

of a mouth gobbled up my face


and carved a hole through which many shaped men came 

one after another


each time all i could do was wonder

whose mouth my face belonged to

and how, a first kiss could


disintegrate the intricate fibers sinews, tissues, tubules

that until that moment,

held my heart in functional tact


the many kisses since then

at slicing, exacting, disorienting

speed, have landed me in endless pits of cunning sands

breaking my fall, only 


to once again

swallow me whole and excrete me back into the abyss


how alive

these weightless throbbing parts can be 


how lost 

in his tracheal dark did

i opiate, dissociate, calm

and soothe myself into

delusions of what it means to




another break in fall

full of gleaming visions 

of a cooling milky rounds


I find 

myself in a pot of self-made salves

finger-painting my mind's sky




frayed pieces of cord, soiled, brown, stringy

like the bottoms of weeds i have pulled out


I am 

extracting, gathering, collecting

securing, strapping, tying together

a bridge of sorts


Sethu Nair