[Home Travelogues] Episode: Encounters with Stationary Humans

Aditya Shankar

Homes retreat to humans glued to their notions.

Through the highway of roots, they arrive like


shade, incubate human eggs that plead, stay

till we hatch from stillness. But we never do—


human windmills, in anticipation of wind/human

hills, in anticipation of snug hats/human wells,


in anticipation of light. Bat an eyelid, move a

finger, attempt a smile. Houses are surrogate


mothers with untold tales of quickening in her

baby bump. More room, you say / they grow


obese to hold you in their jowls. That a house

is wingless is a lie. It remains unrevealed to


us stillborn. That there isn’t a house of houses

is a lie. To calm their worrying faraway eyes,


houses exhale smoke through chimneys; At

the windowsill, emptied beer bottles with lip


prints of being. A house for everyone, like the

first love / an apparition / a desire. A house to


float your dead skin that blends in galactic

entropy. Inertia is the cover-up for inner leaps.

Aditya Shankar is an Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator with multiple nominations for Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. His work has been published widely and translated into Arabic and Malayalam and is most recently published in the anthology Singing in the Dark from Penguin Random House.Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.