Amish Trivedi

from Unreality

This is the inside of time, the past absorbs
resources and replicates itself as
future. This is the inside
of time and the future
is a series of past mechanisms
already in motion. This is the inside of time
and the experience of it decays
each second.


The camera fulgent,
concretizes a moment,
an experience
which will not return—
it was never there
to begin with.


All of time has already happened—
            I’m too scared to watch.


Nothing belongs
anywhere or ever

 has. Ownership
is a series of misfired, uncompressible

 attachments that should have
            been sworn off. It’s not

 enough to acknowledge sin
but better to retrain,

 defamiliarize, grow


into something with the skin
of the knuckles

tethered. The difficult things
are that way because

anything accomplished without acknowledgement
is no accomplishment at all. Shutting

out is pretending that antecedent
was a memory someone else created

for you. This is not real
until I make it real

and I can’t be asked
to trigger myself. There is


no salvation in being
right, just an angry eye cast back that

now has to try and blink before it
runs dry.


There are lies you cannot help but be told—
or cannot help but tell— in order to generate
narratives that have never existed. Here is the
spoils system: the scratched back bleeds
from everyone’s nails but mine. I don’t
stop it either and I know that I am guilty.  

Lengths of rope are welcome but there is
no obligation to provide when a belt in the
door can hold, too. There’s an acceptance
now, an earnest break in the tension that
holds these strands together and it’s time
to agree to the things we are going to be.

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Amish Trivedi is the author of Sound/Chest (Coven, 2015), the forthcoming Your Relationship to Motion Has Changed (Shearsman, 2019), numerous chapbooks, and has poems in Kenyon, New American Writing, and Typo. He has an MFA from Brown and is working on a PhD at Illinois State University.