Sampurna Chattarji: don’t stop. ask

don’t ask me why the shallow end exists
unless it is to crack your head wide open

or what makes the meshing
of our arms and legs
so intricate

or if those are indeed
chicken feet in the rafters

ask me what makes ink on ice
such a delicate thought

or why ‘hard’ and ‘soft’
when found in the same sentence
are sensual

or whether biting down the words
‘shame’ ‘genital’ ‘taxonomy’
might make them easier
to wear

that too
go ahead
ask me

as for the question you’ve saved
for another day:
could the answer be longing for the other shore?

throw-ng the i overboard
she found herself stutter-ng
becom-ng once again
an unreliable boat

and what if on another day—
don’t ask
ask don’t stop

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