Poetry by Aditya Shankar

Measuring Achievements

I count calories before and after workout,
collate data in charts and turn my home into
a museum of achievement, unsure about the
measure for the world to know, the desire of
fallen leaves to fly into houses, the loneliness
of colors for Abanindranath to call his peace,
The Peace Cottage*. I am used to the way we
climb mountains to celebrate temples on the
pinnacle of certain, and worship longing on
the rest. Slight tremors on countryside rail
tracks that reach us before the train mark
the achievement of arrivals and departures.
When eyes bury in themselves, a complicated
dial that resembles the engine room, I record
the waterfalls of blood in my body, the arrival
of death like the hiss of an alligator rising from
its depths. The devices make me a prophet
of transparent lies that dissolve like ice cubes
into my divination. When I leave, I am a cargo
train that passes through all stations and no
passenger knows where I am heading.

Note: * – A work by world renowned painter, Abanindranath Tagore.

Bio: Aditya Shankar is an Indian English poet living in Bangalore. His work has been published or is forthcoming in the Hour After Happy Hour Review, CC&D, ‘Purrfect’ Poetry, Beakful, Shot Glass Journal, Earthborne, Terracotta Typewriter, and Eastern Voices anthology, among others. He is author of a poetry chapbook, After Seeing, (2006) and a poetry collection Party Poopers (2014).