Self

Even so, we go collecting parts –
an afternoon by the sea, a game of hopping on
and off scales, nose low to the ground, looking
for that other glove to complete us
Here I am globe, spinning planet. Never mind the muddy
bloomers. Self
Tishani Doshi

‘We all want to be / monuments but can’t help shoving our fingers / in dirt.’

And when they ask, what kind of animal
would you be, I always say gazelle or lark,
never cockroach, even though they’ll outlast
us all. Will we have terracotta
armies to take us through, will we be alone
with the maggots? How good the rain is
after a failed romance. We all want to be
monuments but can’t help shoving our fingers
in dirt.  
Photograph © nikoline arns Tell me why are you not astonished? Once I dreamed I had a body with two
heads like those ancient figures from the Zarqa
River – bitumen eyes, trunks of reed and hydrated
lime, built thick and flat without genitals, nothing
shameful to eject except tears. The shock we carry is that the world
doesn’t need us. What we remember
is the road, peering through a lattice at dusk,
the trauma of burial. Imagine a life in childhood – one face
to the womb, another to the future. We are appalled by life and still,
any chance we get we emerge from the earth
like cicadas to sing and fuck for a moment
of triumph.