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In the Cavity of Time

Poem by Pavithra Satheeshkumar
Published August 16, 2015

In the Cavity of Time

You know, I try to be humble
and only ask questions that are simple.
Like, whether the Cinderella story
can put a poor hungry girl to sleep?

I leave the origin question to cosmologists
and the end question to climatologists.
Frankly, I don't give a damn
if the time has a beginning or an end.
All I know is, there were folks before me
and there will be after me too.

I've enjoyed the accounts of what went before me.
Although I didn't experience any of that like my own time,
I have a feel for it.
I have read what comes after a hundred years.
I guess, it lacks imagination.

Who rules which country, how the borders change,
who wins, who loses,
who loves, hates, kills whom?
You know, the cycling and recycling of life.

The trivialities matter, as our minds only
think of a few individuals all the time.
We live in a smaller world.
I know the universe is vast and the world is big,
but again, the butterfly effect and the six degrees of separation.
How many degrees apart am I from Alexander the great,
and what about Shakespeare?

Let me stop name-dropping, I don't even know the
name of my own great great grandmother,
let alone the details of her life, her likes and dislikes.
Could she be the monkey that my people evolved from?
Will my great great grandchildren remember me?
Wait, that doesn't matter once I am gone.

The majority of the humans is unchronicled.
How can I tell their stories?

I find life is like an owlet
in the hollow of a tree in the middle of a rainforest,
sticking its head out hooting
until the mother fetches some food.
It has its worries and concerns
and dangers to guard against.
Being nocturnal, will it ever wonder about
the darkness of the abyss or of the space?

Pavithra Satheeshkumar received BA and MA in English Literature from
University of Bangalore, India and M.Phil. in English Literature from
University of Mysore, India. She is interested in all forms of creative writing,
translation and literary criticism. Her poems have appeared in magazines
such as
East Coast Literary Review, Red Fez, Atlas Poetica and Panju.
One of her critical essays was published in
The Criterion. She lives in Waco,
Texas, USA.
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