“Omnibeast” by Tejas Ranade

The eyes.

Gleaming like apples unpicked
but by a friend who simply slithered
across, crying out so that the
farmers will see them and at least
bereave for them if nothing else.

The jaws.

Licking his own tail
in an effort to stir his frenzied
tongue. Licking his nails, short
and to-the-point as they are, curled
up against his claws as his body curls
up against the windowpane.

The nosebrainearschest,

Brahman has come in the form of a
fighting for survival as it gyrates
in the air, searching for a lover,
a companion, a friend, an acquaintance,
a bag of electrified organs.

Brahman has come in the form of a -

it does not matter, for later
the best beast of them all will
stop scratching away its itches
on the glass and forgetting the
way it once slunk past, tail wrapped
around itself like a poised whip as
it placed paw
after paw
on the grass.

And now only words, and wars, and
wise jesters smiling so often
at the ventures of the beast
that it rolls for a quick snack
and shelter at least
and its role in the feast
of Brahman's disappointed
molds like avatars,
nine children in a circle
whispering in each others'
eyes, words too fast
for their ears, mumbling,

GIVE me back the Whorl of Babylon he shouts
as his words mix with his footsteps
like mud upon the boots of soldiers GIVE me
back the time when a mother would cradle
her babe and pray that it lived to twenty-one
and drink away its woes, circular
GIVE me back the spiraling way of the war -
dancers deaf and blinded by the rapaciousness
of a mad violin who stopped and stared as
I veered away, casting eyes like a sin
like mud upon the boots of doomed soldiers.
Dimmed sojourns they were, one by one
and two by two
as they walk past his open yawn, teeth
scraping against the windowsill
as the lighting
flashes past like a refugee
fleeing from the battlefield -
all is dark in the distance.

And back into the doghouse he goes,
filthy but familiar,

should've fled earlier.