Self-Portrait as Free-Body Diagram

Appa, tucking God under his tongue, in the space
between prey & prayer. Brown bodies & black
holes & bullets traveling at the speed of light,
our bodies consuming gunmetal like stardust.
In the pooja room, I am hunched over God like a
physics problem,

like if the bullet’s velocity is light speed,
then what is the momentum of your body & I
answered my body is a perfectly-inelastic
collision. Metal cradled, no exit wounds.
& I know that light travels faster than
sound so I say a bullet is God-touched, all
this light was once born & Appa was once

a son. His flesh, the inside of a pomegranate
against white palms, the seeds scraped clean
& swallowed. Here, in the chanted verses
I swallow myself, every bullet lodged
in my throat like a syllable from my name,
a language, grapheme & gunshot. I mouth
commas, the trigger of a rifle, unhooked &
pulled. I accelerate to a bullet-bodied God,
arms open & filled with light.