Yonder Years Ago
So down a synapse they tunneled, carried past sensation burdens: memory waves chute-oscillated, irrigated crevices and canals to harvest minds and remember electric journeys in flashes and sparks. Disconnected and torn, hand-in-hand they went, hesitant and fearful with closed eyes and emptied lungs. They first knew nothing and deemed it better that way.With heavy doubt and trembled silence they asked themselves why embark at all? They whispered these fibers were meant for laceration, were they not? Through molecules and terminals and beyond they went to account their tales of sorrow and sadness. With transmissions and codes, blinks and sighs of moon-lit tides and melodies, they jumped from module to module. In gaps of air they briefly forgot and smiled, landed with criss-crossed legs and silenced tongues. Once transmitted came oft-begged times of yonder years, the magnetic pull like rattled chains — each link a glimpse a glance a meander to amnesia. In forests and trails leading to bits of this and that, they felt the stars drop between their fingers, through palms so sleek, there was no grit of sky. And let the constellations fall they did, to a sunrise they recalled when a flock covered darkness momentarily, as they found feather treasures stuck to their mouth roofs. How hollow they felt then, emptied floods of rays on which they encountered infinite love, memories wandered into deep skull pockets, only to be let loose with a storm so polished they gleamed and yearned for more — for more to remember.
A Catalytic Tilt
So quiet and awestruck they served witness to sunlit creations, autotrophic sustenance through precipitation and concaved clouds gave way, a path for rays beamed forth from opened beaks, yellow and bright, to let pierce nourished souls sway back to forth. A rocking a stirring a birth among muddied banks — there, there an endothermic hunger to know, to process a breath through leaves and teeth and green stemmed bark. A starving, beheld — a chemical yield — moon dropped sugar over concentric ridges, soft ripple to stratospheric levels, an epicenter of space. They sucked in and in, until tilted axis tilted over and ocean skies looked upon their journey, their struggle. Photosynthetic they were in need of a palette for the world to spin upon. Chlorophyll, they entwined like famished roots diving. In and up with flared skin, enraged and seeking until finally full to tongue’s brim with lifted jaws. And how wearily wearily wearily they haunched as pained bone and thorax. And how they heaved — a strife to dart through rivers in search of warmth to cover their throats and peeled tides to rise over and over and over until exposed organs and vines thrusted themselves toward atomic light, twirling to let the suffocated find solace in blinded manner. To grasp, to cling and climb, to hold with strength and fear, they stood upon fertile soil, not of myths and legends but of love and life — a will to follow welcomed air thresholds. Enter, tipped their way and spread throughout lands with whispered thuds of unknown adventures. Oxygen born from rain and carbon traced back to risen spectacles and heat to shower their spirits for a beginning — upon earth to settle, in vague encounters among strange families, all leaned this way and that.
So they walked in fields of stalks as tall as them — hands grazed against bold leaves, of what will burn to sugar, ashes sing to clouds and skies. Their eyes made of water and deepened coughs to relax. They ran through sizzled mounds, blackened dirt they strode next to each other in hope of a clearing. Nebulous vanished, how they looked with amazed ponder. Such was the world and here they stood. They beheld an atmosphere, a pulse in wrists and ribs — a flushed sun. They shone and embraced flapped wings, a clasp so tight they found themselves in high air, swimmed cumulus, waded and force-bowed their heads to breathe. To look down and view earth with outward tongues, in tears they followed feathered rhythms and beaked murmurs. They wondered: to let go would mean forever separated, the two who had found love in a balloon amid planets unknown, never discovered. And with teeth clenched and gritted, in silence they departed as palms opened — they sifted azure as cloths shredded and ragged they became. Such velocity they went, eyes leveled parallel and planked. Farewell farewell. This, they returned to silt and matter. And so they fell in perpendicular fashion, down straight through crust and plate, speechless and a wave as if to say the worth of love was the worth of loss. For they were never lost; they knew no boundaries. And there they went, soft and quiet into a realm they had never seen before as ashed melodies floated and wandered, a harvest like no other.
A Distance Of Thunder
So simmered angelic melodies and ruins wrath, merged crumbled echoes to formed paths, gave way to screamed lullabies. They faced each other with mouths opened, full of silence and skies, a desire to counter inertia — to stop the world for a second, confuse time and gravity and torn ocean waves. To dissolve the moon with seasoned eyes, a distance of thunder grew between their palms, a hole of light found solace just above their brows, lifted chins toward magmatic flowed clouds — loud and ashed. A drift a split a crack to where no one journeyed unless shifted lands slanted and bent to lead them into a core of their own minds. There they found embraced statues of ice entwined as aged roots from eons ago when earth was earth and nothing else could feel other than leaves and stems drawn toward the sun. A magnetic pull never to be cleaved or weakened, these fossils frozen reminded them of skin and tranquility gave birth from beyond the sprinkled stars to where they sought knowledge of clasped hands and twisted necks, lips and breath of volcanic rupture. They learned to hold. The glaciers attached by lightning, tied by luminous streams, crashed and slowed — pushed together, a friction so heated it sparked touch and gleam. A twilight of morning rose to let them sing their song of dew and fire — this the love like no other, never to be witnessed but only by soared sacred beaks centuries from now.
Shome Dasgupta is the author of i am here And You Are Gone (Winner Of The 2010 OW Press Fiction Chapbook Contest), The Seagull And The Urn (HarperCollins India, 2013) which has been republished in the UK by Accent Press as The Sea Singer (2016), Anklet And Other Stories (Golden Antelope Press, 2017), Pretend I Am Someone You Like (University of West Alabama’s Livingston Press, 2018), and Mute (Tolsun Books, 2018). His stories and poems have appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Puerto Del Sol, New Orleans Review, New Delta Review, Necessary Fiction, Milk Candy Review, Jellyfish Review, Magma Poetry, and elsewhere. His fiction and poetry have been anthologized in Best Small Fictions 2019 (Sonder Press), The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing (&Now Books, 2013), and Poetic Voices Without Borders 2 (Gival Press, 2009). His work has been featured as a storySouth Million Writers Award Notable Story, nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the Best Of The Net, and longlisted for the Wigleaf Top 50. In 2018, he took part in the Innovative Fiction panel, as a featured author, at the Louisiana Book Festival. He lives in Lafayette, LA, and he can be found at www.shomedome.com and @laughingyeti.
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