C.N.P Poetry 

  • Cathexis Northwest Press

Eye-Witness

By: Jose Varghese



He wears a maroon silk shirt

that flutters in the wind of high-altitudes,

a pair of black trousers hugs his thighs

in cottony persistence,

blue and yellow hiking boots

with a streak of red on the soles,

visible when he moves around

in an urgency to exist. Does he want

all eyes on him, as if he’s

the red bishop among house sparrows?

The Doddabetta air must’ve peeled off

a layer of skin from his face,

the raw flesh beneath woken to pain

from the numbness of being,

to be born afresh

in the faraway sight of

trees swallowed by the fog,

in a birdcall that wasn’t answered,

in the memory of his tongue

burnt by hot coffee.


His ecstasy isn’t drowned

in the screams of tourists, before

he walks to the edge, allows his feet

to slip

as if it was an accident, and begins

to fall.




Jose Varghese is a writer/translator/editor from India. He is the author of ‘Silver Painted Gandhi and Other Poems’ and his second collection of poems will be published in 2021 (Black Spring Press Group). He was a finalist in LISP and Beverly Prize, a runner up in Salt Prize, and was commended in Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Prize. His works have appeared in Joao Roque Literary Journal, The Best Asian Short Story Anthology, Dreich, Meridian, Afterwards, Unthology 5, Unveiled and Reflex Fiction.