No Baculum (Ode to Love)

By Dilantha Gunawardana

Our oldest success story was how

Our physical strengths could tame nature in all its might.

The youngest success story is how evolution

Took away a bone called a baculum from mankind,

And made him extra special on day-one

Inside the garden of Eden. We were not taught

To love as monkeys, period. We were all

Survivors of our fittest brawn that stands now

As the deepest vulnerability. That beautiful moment

Came the night that you plunged headlong to an eternity.

It was always about how you lifted the machinery.

It was no ballista which was a large sling shot,

It was no mangonel which means “engine of war”,

It was no trebuchet, which was measured

By counterweight, as a gargantuan catapult.

It was only the fitting moment when the pealed

Flesh of counter-creature, invigorates

A pointing object primed for love making.

It is where one’s own canals of Venice,

Transformed to high-pressure faucets, learning that

Some moments are extra special. There are places that blood gushes to,

The squeeze of a tourniquet, that arms

Courage to a soldier of fortune, who braves

The biological clocks to transcend the

Arboreal ones with lengthy tails, to let go of

One miserly bone, to transform the old fashioned,

Into a modern-day romance almost

Jane Austen-like in organic beauty. Love is perhaps

The greatest chivalry mankind is capable of –

Giving another a most beautiful agony.

The sheer beauty of it all was that it was no prized bone,

That made Mr Darcy, an English hero; it was Beautiful Elizabeth.

Unknown to her, there was Something covertly pointing at her,

A beautiful product tinkered by evolution

Stronger than any

One of Cupid’s arrows.

Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist by training who graduated from the University of Melbourne, yet identifies himself, as a wordsmith, papadum thief, “Best Laksa” seeker, poet of accident and fluke, hoop-addict, a late bloomer on all fronts, ex-quiz-druggy and humor-artist, who is still learning the craft of poetry. Dilantha has two anthologies of poetry, Kite Dreams (2016) and Driftwood (2017), published by Sarasavi Publishers. Dilantha was awarded the prize for “The emerging writer of the year – 2016” in the Godage National Literary Awards, Sri Lanka, while being shortlisted for the poetry prize, in the same awards ceremony.

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