Incinerate Your Love


                           For T. Ruthiran (1937-1996)
 
                                                                                                     
                               plots lined with cypresses
silence of respect
                                    pebbles levelled with care
    in lined walks
          in rectilinear angles
 
slabs of slate 
               of marble
 
          fading posy of flowers refreshed
   a framed dageurrotype now
     the glass cracked by hale stones
                                                     
dried leaves of pine forsythia rose
      drifting in the inturning autumnal gusts
                                                        the caretaker sweeps the debris of yesterdays’s solemn descent
            paper cups   spilled soil
                                 cracked flower pots
                        chewing gum wrappers
 
     all the rectangular plots    dark cutting-edge smoothness of polished finish
                                          low arches  plain chiselled stone  names  years
of the to be remembered siblings parents children
                                                                                  remembered by whom
       whose bodies post mortem
  stink of medicinal cleansing scent
                                              brains dissected
       hearts expunged
                                   livers sliced
  intestines evacuated  dumped together with failing pancreas  kidneys in grey plastic bags
       sawed bones held together by adhesive tape
     gashed wounds   pallid crinkled skin   robed in Sunday best
              the face a mask    the undertaker’s camouflage
 
She said somewhat apologetically: He went peacefully.  R.I.P. Looked like a god in repose! 
 
     the last rites of holy scented water
  the casket lowered in worm-proof cement caves
          the underground in-vasion
 
 
     the perfumed corpse coming apart from wet kisses tear-stains blood-clots diseased parts live roses nose phlegms ear-wax the last act still unflushed from vaginas the motion still stuck in the rectum
 
little by little
        even before the week is over
    even before tears curdle in dearly bereaved bosoms
  bacteria turn to worms  viruses perhaps to white ants
        eating eyes tongues lips cheeks ears brains wood skin and putrid flesh
 a symphonic moving feast of simmering violin murmurings
     villous worms growing nosier thornier
   fat worms gorging on fattening worms
              and the wrenching stench festering from pulsating orifices
      drive even worms for cover in the acidic marrow
 
little by little
         even the bones rot
    the best suit   strands of worms   war ribboned medals on the bony cage
the skull shiny from polished pickings
      eye-sockets   two cavernous dens for voracious slithering things
 
the monkey’s unclaspable full-kernel hand stuck below the eye of the coconut
 
overskull the lamenting ones come hugging flowers week after week
       lamenting the loss of an armful of live mud
 
                   from earth you came
                   to earth you descend
                                                     any fool knows
                      from suns we rose
                      and in fire we’ll glow
 
what rancour drives these ritualistically scented shamans to commit degrading murder
         towards their loved ones      
 
would that by law all graves were topped by transparent glass
and troops and troops of tourists brought in to survey the merry moveable feast
 
plant fruity trees where the worms had supped
and sell the produce at the gates of cemetries
 
for these law-makers to realize
that nothing purifies like fire
                                               even their mighty minds
 
the fired remains
ashes mingle    united
                                    before time’s end

 

(©T.Wignesan, Paris – June 22/23, 1997
from the collection: longhand notes (a binding of poems), 1999]  

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