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Fiction #196
(published October 14, 2004)
Vulnerability of Grass
by Prakash Kona
If love had a face it would be you lying on a bench in a garden and marking the number of leaves on ground with your eyes. Does that mean death is inevitable for the face of love to be dismantled by stupor of fallen leaves? Would that face be love if it did not share the sorrow of fallen leaves? In my veins I shared the vulnerability of grass. That was my rebellion against the world of feet that stepped on me. Vulnerable as grass I sustained the sun and encountered the storm. I lived for no other reason except that grass is yellow when it is not green. My politics is who I am. I am a garden lizard on a wall and a whiff of childhood enters my blood stream. The earth is covered with wet grass and I am a pair of eyes on other side of a dewy windowpane. In the time before the world made its appearance life was inseparable from death. Born I knew pangs of separation that tore into my flesh and made me eat my guts out. I am a gut-eater of a writer. I made myths where soul perspired in heat of body in states of oneness. I dissociated my tired soul from burning skin. Passion exhausted soul while skin sought to be touched by water. Magicians appeal to me less than matchsticks. The metaphysics of the line that makes sense is in fire of spaces and not magic of words. Words are occupiers of space. Masters they may seem for the time being but they exist because of spaces. My stomach is bloating. It could be the baby growing in me. I am hungry and tired most of the time. I am anxious of the body's changing contours. I like to indulge in preoccupations as if they were real. I recognize the reality of women from poverty vulnerable to hands of men who think and feel like men. They are not preoccupied with gaining weight. They are trying to survive. Vulnerability is a social condition. I am vulnerable to sufferings of all things. I translate my isolation into a discourse of resistance. The child in me will understand that she belongs to the present. The present must change in order for future to be different. Bread without freedom is inconceivable drudgery. Freedom without bread is a lie. When contradictions are naturalized they turn into paradoxes. Paradoxes are vulnerable to light of day. Myths are paradoxes just as paradoxes are myths of logical unresolvability. Poetry is the genre that recognizes the power of paradox. The paradox of the monkey in moon illustrates that there are no monkeys in the moon. That is not sufficient reason for us not to talk about the monkey in moon. The material condition speaks to us as life. It makes me wary of the fact that I am vulnerable as china when it is not green as grass. China are my eyes and china is my heart. I respect the reality of the sufferer though I can't deny that it implies the translation of a discourse. I loved you without ever living up to your expectations in me. I failed your trust and loved you all the more. I punished my soul for agony that my body had put you through. I denied my soul the joy of your company. When sleep took over me I was awake struggling minute through minute the loneliness of a lover who betrays but never smiles. I looked at nineteen houses on nineteen different streets before I lived in the house on the corner. Solicitation is a way of talking about fate without using figures. I solicited shadows on walls of a harem. No one lived behind these walls except grass that was vulnerable to caresses of the wind. Unlike windows walls provoked my attention to things I could never know. One of them was your heart. It had a window but walls of your eyes prevented me from peering into unknown. The walls of eyes preserved the window of the heart. Estranged from what I knew and a stranger to what I could never know I lay my head on grass and let stars overwhelm my impenetrable being.

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