Echolocation

Chiroptera: The hand remade as a wing.
Back from the cave at least our voices come
To adumbrate us something like a home.
We’re chained inside the cave, but when we sing,

We see the shoutlines of our echoing,
Freedom foreshadowed, hooking thumb and thumb,
Chiroptera, each inkstained hand a wing
Brailling the cave our voices half become.

We place each other with the songs we sink
Like plumb lines spooling down the catacomb.
Stricken down but never stricken dumb,
We sing to listen to the shape of things.
Chiroptera: our hands are taking wing.
Out of the cave at last our voices come.

*

L’envoi

I listen to distances,
Shapeshifting resistances
That love and only love
Can make a landscape of.
We call to find a hearer
In an acoustic mirror,
The maze resolving into
A face that sheens a window.
I place you where you sing,
Remix our echoing
To map the dark around
Us both with ultrasound,
My ear against your ground,
The fetal heartbeat found,
Become, somehow, a poem,
And somewhere—here—its home.

Amit Majmudar

Amit Majmudar

Amit Majmudar is the author of five critically-acclaimed novels, four collections of award-winning poetry, a book for younger readers, and a translation of the Bhagavad-Gita with commentary. Three new books are forthcoming in 2023: a memoir (Twin A, with Slant Books), a book of essays (Black Avatar and Other Essays, with Acre Books), and a three-volume retelling of the Mahabharata (with Penguin India). The former first Poet Laureate of Ohio as well as a diagnostic and nuclear radiologist, he lives in Westerville, Ohio, with his wife and three children.
Amit Majmudar

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Author: Amit Majmudar

Amit Majmudar is the author of five critically-acclaimed novels, four collections of award-winning poetry, a book for younger readers, and a translation of the Bhagavad-Gita with commentary. Three new books are forthcoming in 2023: a memoir (Twin A, with Slant Books), a book of essays (Black Avatar and Other Essays, with Acre Books), and a three-volume retelling of the Mahabharata (with Penguin India). The former first Poet Laureate of Ohio as well as a diagnostic and nuclear radiologist, he lives in Westerville, Ohio, with his wife and three children.