Is not the same as nude on a bed or nude, lights out.
Neither a nude senile nor a euphoric inventor
sprinting down the streets.
Nothing to offer, hide, proclaim or shame.
Nude for yourself—
not for an eye or a mirror,
for the photo-shoot of a magazine cover
or for an artist.
A nudity that isn’t an apostolic pendulum
swinging between pleasure and sin.
This is how I wish to confront an animal in the wild,
to see it read trust from my naked eye.
This is how the skin remembers the origin and soil,
where insects and plants roll into a single dermis.
The shower, a river that embraces the primal nude.
Let the republic of nudes break open locked doors.
Let clothes learn the third person narrative.
Aditya Shankar is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominated Indian poet, flash fiction author and translator. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in After Happy Hour Review, Armarolla, Modern Literature, Borderless, Poetica Review, Columba, Periwinkle Literary Magazine, Reality Break Press, Brasilia Review and others. His books include: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018) and his animated short has been screened at international film festivals. He lives in Bangalore, India.