after Valmiki’s Ramayana (Aranya Kanda, Sarga 46)

Dressed simply but not
without elegance, holding ritual
staff and parasol

Radiating gloom, like an asteroid with designs on a star
like night’s curved shadow that swims across the Earth
like the darkness of our Sun in its deepest explosions
like the planet Budhan about to take hold of Rohini
like Saturn advancing on Chitra
like the forests and cities and far ridges of infinity
each planetary body with its moons each moon that governs