Image by Al Elmes


the madrigal, volume iii

Major Events of Nativity

by amal joseph

Telephones. Car Seat Headrest. Oxford’s companion to Chess. Top of the grass
        exists loudly at near birth. A porch light phantom
        and all it’s stunts—beyond the windshield.
You have been in figments,
        you that value stillness: in the backseat of my mustang. All night because
the day is themselves, tyranny of faces. We never learned to phone the nightfall
only the afternoon, where the living are taller. Settling on the tables
and gardens. Drinking cheap wine and drawing their yellowed
curtains. Now at midnight—it is away. Gardens, porch lights, offices
        of the tellers and listeners.

Only at the house of God, you ask
       why the disciples were all men, proletariat fishermen, tax-collectors
and physicians. You mean to tell me, Jesus, strutted along lonely gardens—

endless rivers—halls of knives
with young men, calling them by his name. Did he teach them
to make the sound of rivers as they walked. I don’t know that, but I do know this
       man is simply at birth—even he, on the left hand side.

I laugh when you tell me You masturbate alone. Our-selves pretending to be a unary,
       is a combination of vertical strokes—final lap. Watching a magpie, quite not yet.
Peel the thought of it’s novelty—the thought doing it for you. Watching yourself against
a sunlit screen. A negative frame without the ability to develop

Or jump out the photo slide. Rocking the chair.
Nativity is falling outside in the garden. I imagine in droplets
       this near birth of rain.

Wherever the sparrows go to, themselves are numberless. Starlet marks of a
       A trailing comet, grease the expansions. Of its universe are gratitudes to trunks many times over.
To Willows, Birches and bird-boxes: curtaining against the yellowed arrogance. To be in still-birth
is to catch the sky changing colors. Major events of nativity
       open the sky—with/without instructions.

Amal Joseph is a photographer and poet from Kerala, India. His poetry has appeared in Nether QUARTERLY and VAYAVYA among other places. He is a Communication Major.