• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 09

Arni Dharma

City and storm drains sewers shake, 
collapse, create tropical valleys; swamp 
reeds push through mud, human waste,  
and vestiges of soiled Charmin replacing
grass and sedges. There, water buffalo
sink to their knees…examine wet silt
one horn curling—tribute to the past—
the other one thrust forward, dominant,
threatening, defensive…constantly searching 
for babbling brooks, clear streams, natural ponds.

Chevron shoulders curve into regal crescents
hound dogs cry out for help in neighboring boroughs

Neo noir secrets greet natural selection’s child;
perpetuating existence in the mind’s eye,
a bovine matriarch wallows and shovels sludge 
in the environmental pastiche, dismisses
encroaching corporate invasions as precarious 
caged dreams enclosed in metropolitan snowglobes—
contents riddled with skybridges, glass towers,
and art deco high rises that pierce layers of mist, 
transform ice heavy air into smoggy halos 
illuminate fragile bubbles of invention that burst.