Aditi Machado

Route Desert

A wind blows, the desert unfolds.

To sleep on its pillow is succulent as cacti swelling in times of plenty shrinking in drought.

When I lived in the desert I was so young & spiny drinking rain into my lungs. Now it is culture everywhere & specular.

Now the desert melts, the sky’s glass.

I muse on this as on myriad crystalline forms.

The cactus flower prescribes water, its bouquet wafts along the coast of an absent sea.

Sand divines my desiccation. So too with culture, words I use to speak my distance from the desert. Culture too resides in me an intercourse most internal.

Sand flares, I parse the granular

the heat valorous. Opening its sepals

rain palsies. A navel in the sand

elements an oasis. In the steely night

lying on my belly. In the steely night

lying on my back.

“. . . on the sand, Half-sunk, a shattered . . .”

A neck spills its faint lesson, the hour glass fills with lust.

What is heard, what is not heard congregate on the sleeves of weather rotating the windmills.

Materials survive, soaked and running, formic on the rocks, Opheliac in the pool.

The listening I was summoned to perform, I perform it.

In heat my eye fears what seduces my ear.

Voices stem lush, sink like petrol.

Laborious, ambulatory desires turn the desert.

Here is a romance pointing here, here.

- In heat my tongue delivers a sermon like a caress.
- In heat your tongue delivers a sermon like a caress

In the heart of the deserta decadence
My arrivalits catalysis

labial
dunes

runes

Inside looking
like outside looking
sways.

Sand in a grey
photograph
pointillates.

Grey soils
approbate
grey singing.

The pure bird
of no negation
arrives.

Feelings drive
an arm toward
fruit.

Things to say
then happen
in a spasm.

Things meaning
soil & finger
shape a line.

A circus tends
a circle
in passions.

A cactus
circumscribes
water.

I touched someone
in that desert as
time won’t.

Aditi Machado

Aditi Machado is the author of the chapbooks Route: Marienbad (Further Other Book Works, 2016) and The Robing of the Bride (Dzanc, 2013), and of the forthcoming poetry collection Some Beheadings (Nightboat, 2017). She has translated Farid Tali's Prosopopoeia, which will be published by Action Books later this year. She edits poetry in translation for Asymptote.