Poetry at Sangam



Natural History by Ranjit Hoskote

A history of mammoths
    salted away in warehouses
scrawled in chalk.

            sleep is a secret you once overheard

A history of rivers
    snaking down steep slopes
walled in glass.

            clay is a wisdom that leaves no fingerprints

A history of ballads
    that dolphins sang about horizons
broken by microphones.

            shale is a darkness you struggle to weigh

A history of drought,
    gulls circling above gaunt hills,
waiting for rain to wash the words away.

            words are rapids that drown us all