Ladders | Shome Dasgupta

Image: Mike van den Bos


Sun—suppliant. Folded skies,
a swallow: mirrored creeks,
trailing—drifting, forever
a mashing, mashed—fists
of bark, scratched and scarred
like beaks of melee—like eyes
full of mud, stung from powdered

Juxtaposed: craved teeth, snarled brow—
a puff and a pout, such were the memories
of glass and dew—of patched mounds
tied by clasped grass, fingers crossed—
a crossing among sticks of light, like
hypnotic grazes of skin and bone, a release.

Pebble for pebble—a toss and a skip,
a broken roof made way for a charm,
floating—bumping—a ray of shadow
for tongues to find the path, a path—
wayward fallen upon knees, thin
and pressed—one leaf or two, feathered
like a rooster’s crow—so let it be gone—
so let our failures dwindle in our palms
as those who stagger and find bits
of rope to climb until we look down
and see the dirt of our wrists.

Shome Dasgupta is the author of The Seagull And The Urn (HarperCollins India), and most recently, the novels Cirrus Stratus (Spuyten Duyvil) and Tentacles Numbing (Thirty West Publishing House), and a poetry collection, Iron Oxide (Assure Press). His writing has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet TendencyJabberwock Review, New Orleans Review, New Delta Review, Arkansas Review, Magma Poetry, and elsewhere. He lives in Lafayette, LA and can be found at and @laughingyeti.

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