Poem by Eugene Datta
August 15, 2023
What the Witness Knows
An image turns up where the dream fades—a fork lying on a table—a dog barks, a bird trills, the flutter of its wings. It’s early morning. A word, a string of words, a thought—The vastness before the moment shrinks into an event. The image of a fork lying on a table. What happens to them—
the thought, the image— when they’re seen closely? The heart beats to the moment’s endless iteration. The air cools the skin. The thought— Being the sight, sound and smell before a witness shows up on the scene. If the image (now a fork with a pyramid of rice before the O of an open mouth) disappears, where does it go? The thought—Then knowing what the witness knows— if seen closely, where is it seen closely from? And who’s doing the seeing? Who’s hearing the barking dog, the trilling bird?
About Eugene Datta
Eugene Datta’s recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Dalhousie Review, Rust & Moth, In Parentheses, Main Street Rag, Red Noise Collective, and elsewhere. Born and raised in India, he now lives in Aachen, Germany.