Sukirtharani


My body

Through a mountain where small shrubs abound
flows a river.
Along its banks, branches of trees
running with sap, lean over,
and touch the water's surface.
The fruit, tasting richly of ginger
break open their fine skins
and put forth their seeds.
Water spills from the hollows
in the rocks, and cascades from the edge of cliffs.
A tiger, replete from its kill,
wets its blood-smeared mouth
at the swift water-streams.
As it climbs down, scarlet ash scatters
from a volcano's gaping mouth.
A vortex, whirling clockwise,
agitates the earth. The day's heat
dissolves into the night's coolness.
In the end Nature becomes my body, lying still.

Translated by Lakshmi Holmström
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