Earthworm From here, life seems like background noise, speech a fossil from a disobedient time, cleanliness a bed for the frail and aging. And light a lazy animal that often stops to rest— it has no curiosity, it never travels underground. Without skeleton, like the night, without colour, like tanned water, its form seems like a first draft. Legs would be jail, ears too much to feed, a resinous responsibility. Not sun, not moon, not time’s gossip, but the faded dark gives it rhythm, as if it were soil’s translucent twin. Like a straw it ferries soil, secreting it as roundlets, as if they were the earth’s fleece. The soil’s saint, it moves as if life were as delicate as a tremble, so that when severed into pieces, it dies, almost apologetic for being alive, hinting that not all parts of us die at the same time.
by Sumana Roy