Bumping into each other
after a hiatus, we realized
how tamed now
the menagerie is within us
our goats no longer graze our hearts
the birds have flown out of our eyes
the foxes no longer think
the tigers chew the leaves from our hands
even our critters sleep peacefully at night.
We wonder how wild
everyone was back then – pang-ridden, hungry
devouring our timid selves.
(The poet dedicates the poem to Wislawa Szymborska)
Tabish teaches Environmental Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay. He has recently published his first short story collection Opening Clouds, Fermented Rain (Hawakal). His poems, essays and short stories have been published in The Critical Flame, Shimmer Spring Anthology, Ethos Literary Journal, The Punch Magazine, The Conversation, Indian Review, The Bangalore Review, Flash Fiction Magazine among other venues.