Poetry: Amit Parmessur

Amit Parmessur

I get a white Oscar for Diwali
from the old bubbly Alain Aquapet.
A river dog I can hand-feed, I feel.
Once in the tank though, it either chases

the rest round the bonsai tree or mouses
behind the boat. One is cut into two.
One jumps to its death. Others just vanish.
I have kept a cold-blooded criminal.

Our patience snaps for Easter. I put it
in a zipper bag with the red water,
ride to the river wild with recent rain.

I let it go. Gently. It stays still, wags
its tail, inches forward and disappears.

I get up, scan the current—and regret.

Java plum tree

Seven years ago, we helped the
old man plant it in a moment
of innocence. Since the blemish
of experience drooled on us,
we had forgotten it, only
to come back to taste purple joy.

The Red Tomato

hangs from its claws against the open sky.

This wee sun cocooning the next rays
in its soft pulp has faced a stormy childhood;
its taut skin, its rivulets of stretch marks
speak of whipping, of blood shed as
the foundation of the future. Its perfect
roundness tells the tale of how what
we have is built on moons of silent sorrow.
Its weight bending its branch is a sign,
a warning that this yolk can be lost tomorrow
if it’s not valued today. Each day soaks
its brightness up and waits for the drop.
I understand that I have to protect it, or
some green-eyed pigeon’s beak might
break into this juicy snowball and dismantle
the shrub to build its nest. It can’t go
down a wandering throat and never come
back like the dodo; other globes have to
sprout and grow and bud against this open sky.

Amit Parmessur, 39, is from Quatre-Bornes, Mauritius. He spent his adolescence hating poetry before falling in love with its beauty. His poems have appeared in several online magazines, namely The Rye Whiskey Review, Night Garden Journal, Hobo Camp Review, Ann Arbor Review and Ethos Literary Journal. He is a two-time Pushcart Prize and two-time Best of the Web nominee.

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