Neti Neti

by Rushi Vyas

When I found my Bapu’s body hanging
I felt everything at once. Not sadness. Not
relief. Not fury. Not this. That was no out
of body experience, no moksa, no warbler on its last breath,
no morning mist rising off a highway, meadow, or sound.
When I found Bapu dead it was everything.
No sun on my soaked back in the midst of a mountain
storm. No tanpura’s drone oozing over the sitar’s lick. This was no
samadhi. No waterboarding. No despair. Dead, Bapu
was everything. Unknown trees, their roots, their disease;
the house’s foundation, pillar, and demolition.
Not the sheriff’s blue and red. Not the nurse’s palm. Not the chill
stethoscope silent on a bare chest. When I found my father
my mouth held nothing but my name for his chin, and
no, this was not enough; it was everything.

Rushi Vyas is originally from Toledo, Ohio and currently lives in Dunedin, Aotearoa/New Zealand where he is working toward a PhD in English Literature. His first manuscript, When I Reach For Your Pulse, was named a finalist for the National Poetry Series in 2018 and 2019 and a semi-finalist for the 2019 Crab Orchard Poetry Series First Book Award. Recent poems are published or forthcoming in 32 Poems, Boulevard, Tin House, Alaska Quarterly Review, Adroit Journal, Waxwing, and elsewhere. Website: