Animal locomotion by Eadweard Muybridge, c. 1887.

Soon after mere seconds after he became the body
no more of the present continuous with the name
his parents had given or our most recent

endearment that had stuck no more possessed
of a future far off or immediate no more
sovereign but the body as in please take as much time

as you need with the body then they would move
the body what did you do with the body had I seen the body
again where was the body how did the body look

we never got to see the body they would bring
the body there was no need to embalm the body how do
you want to dress the body what kind of arrangements

had I made for the body not wanting      not wanting to
lose even this time      this last time with the small quirks
of his body I circled and I talked with no sense

of how much time I was with

Subhashini Kaligotla

Subhashini Kaligotla is a poet and architectural historian of medieval South Asia. She is Kundiman poetry fellow and author of Bird of the Indian Subcontinent (2018). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Caravan, New England Review, The Literary Review, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. She is assistant professor in the department of art history at Yale University.