Dog me, my shadow, your quavering like a dime-store cape,
mudsling me so I’m disguised, a wavy slur in rear-

view mirrors. Make me sip elixir of rain until
my tongue coils up inside my ribs. Till I hum my frowzy

drunken thrum and need a monocle to see. Bait me
into a cage where I’m starved. Unbolt me. For I’m sought

on posters, on gravel roads, and mug sheets. Kick me
past your feet. Let’s dribble against wild turkeys

down the basketball court, wood tokens flying
in our exhaust. Fog me with heavy breathing and heat

and only then I’ll admit defeat by birds. For this humility
I am ever twinned to you. With your bow, shoot sequins

into my earlobes. Mottle me with henna of raspberries, pierce
my nose with star thistle as a patch of crabgrass catcalls

in the wind. Look. A drone flies over for photos, zooms in:
I’ll be a known iota but for you, my avatar.

Tanya Muzumdar