In an acquainted country, my death will come before
another. I’ll have lost everything and nothing; my house burnt,
buried near the sea – no longer the sea. There will be no
letters as testament.
My death, after you’ll have left long ago, will be quiet and
but striking. There won’t be many who will mourn –
there won’t be much to mourn –
but there will be memories of my leaving. I’ll have left everyone
ashes of my words to dissolve in water –
no longer water.
For a long while, I’ll have said nothing, and perhaps
in the wake of my absence, my life will have lost its meaning;
or I will have given meaning
to my absence. After me, there will be more
but I won’t be a witness anymore.
The windows at home shutting
out the cold. Even at noon. In the
bathroom, I can hear it tapping
at the ventilator. The water
in the pipes quite like the fruit juice
mother had kept in the fridge. She’s
spent the day in the kitchen trying
to keep it warm. Papa won’t be bothered
in his quilt. In my room, my blanket
is outlined by trees. Trees of wool. In my
hands. And a river, of gentle handiwork.
When it’s night, we’ll gather around a
table and decide it’s better to have dinner
in bed on such days. Nights. Mother
will still be in the kitchen. Her hands
doughed. Thawing. Her bones
ruddy. It’ll still be raining.
Jayant Kashyap has published Survival (Clare Songbirds), Unaccomplished Cities (Ghost City Press) and Water (Skear Zines). His ecopoetry appears in StepAway, Magma and Ink Sweat & Tears. In 2021, Jayant was a winner at the Wells Festival of Literature and also shortlisted for the Poetry Business New Poets Prize.