It’s in the bubbles(detail), by Faizaan Ahab. Image courtesy of the artist
I marvel at your quivering surface; your skin, a hoopla
of zooing climates! You’re a captive
of the miasma of your age,
the errant plumage, the multifold
anxieties, the stinks! Little monster,
it’s time to Dark Continent with me;
I’ll get you off
to another taxonomy.
Whatever happens, you’re going to be fine.
Revulsion is not an option.
A simple oscillation,
and you’ll be laving it up
in a radical hair shirt of cirrus,
an exfoliated rose, prickling
and scented, strangely empty. Bent
penitence is your fetish.
You are guilty of nothing, scrubbed
to the quick.
You’re smarting and hence alive; you’re alive, so haven’t really been beaten.
Remember: the emulsion of alienation is luxurious, friend. I feel it all the time.
I am painful:
.0004 percent parts unknown—
one hundred percent glide. I’m so over myself
as a form of spiritual butter,
violent and intentional,
an a-ok-style hurricane force,
fomenting at the mouth of the host.
Pour your dirty words and curses,
into my swirling ear or eye—it’s all a wash, a centuries-worth blur
of frothy Geronimos and colloidal frippery, sad and lost,
scumming every coast. Why apologize
Now for some new hurt!—
A swill a-swallow, non-toxic sparrow, your servant of ever-diminishing returns.
~ Vidhu Aggarwal
Vidhu Aggarwal (aka “Vic Wall”) grew up in the Southern U.S. Her multi-media works in poetry, video, and scholarship are oriented around Bollywood spectacle and science fiction. A Kundiman fellow, she is the founding editor of SPECS, a multi-media journal. Her work is appearing in ‘The Electronic Gurlesque’ (Saturnalia). Her book of poems, ‘The Trouble with Humpdori’ (2016), received the Editor’s Choice Prize from The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective.
Editor’s note: ‘Soap Friend’ first appeared in ‘The Trouble with Humpadori’, (The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, 2016), and is republished here with kind permission from the poet and the publisher.