In plain sight it seems sleepy – the lanes, the bylanes
The many wooden houses murmuring in foreign languages
Subtitled locally

While in the chowk the Chinese restaurant clinks, its door open
The wok once sterile now smothered, over and over
Fried rice and beer

I wait downstairs watching clouds serenade your roof – summer
The urge of jumping in cold water, the cart of lime soda
A passing cloud cover

Decades on you still make me stand unattended – your scooter
An ornament embedded in a brick building, whose opening
Guarded by an untitled watchman
Watching another year pass by without a whistle


I Come From

I come from a silent night
Muted by the flapping of sage owls
Skewered by the warmth of shooting stars

We sailed over the moon’s image in round shikaras
I didn’t cry after my birth, instead
I looked onward for the blue glow of our coast

I come from such silent nights
The low indigo tide filled with dreaming flamingos
I sailed through them smiling as I reached a sea
The echo of black dolphins arrived at dawn
An orange sphere touching the distant ocean, under it
A few specks of large boats

I come from a humid night
Occasionally stroked by loving breezes
They played with her hair as I smiled
Behind the creek we shared ourselves slowly
Amidst the dense silence of a million sleeping gulls
Who, at morning, grafitti-ed the sky for us
And the tiger sent her cubs as an elderly gesture

Much later, my corpse floated in a round shikara
On a new moon, its halo, created by the milky way

I came from one of the islands of seven
Today joined forcefully, linked
By trains and flyovers that sail through garbage, instead
of floating over creeks lit by glowing plankton
And the low tide, filled with a billion plastic bags
pushed aside by ships and cranes and trawlers
bury under them the once breathing poems
whose ancient words knew no country

The milky way though, is now consumed by smoke
As for the animals, look for them on the internet
While a small flock of flamingoes still stands
In black, toxic waters
Waiting for the tide to sink

BO S 012

the train gathers faces and departs gradually
stench of clogged creeks wash its spilling sides
a fresh drizzle carpets upcoming platforms
whose contents look towards the clock anxiously
each station adds stories to an obese train
that overflow from its sides like a grotesque sandwich
blurs of the night dot the scenery outside
the train takes with it the sounds coming from factories
and slums too, even collecting glances and stares
from dimly lit windows and car windshields
it empties itself bit by bit at every stop
losing weight slowly through the humid night
towards the end becoming hollow and nearly lifeless
lit by the fluorescence of flickering tubes
hummed by slanting ceiling fans thick with dust
it offers its open ribs to its programmed end
where a full platform awaits

Old Bedroom

the china lamps, yellow
effervescence of youth
a touch of attraction, clinking
of kitchen curtains and railing

much of it faded
in the days after
a clouded bedroom with unwashed
shirts and trousers
under my table
an earring, my feet
the eyes of your kitten
a CD without a title

and there besides the window
where afternoon winds take rest
a younger version of you
peeps in, wondering
who this strange man is


the fragrance of fresh bread, you
loved the flavour melting in your mouth
with butter and fried eggs, the white
softened by slow beating, almost cooked

breezed by trains at sunrise, the tall windows
opening to a confusing city, each rooftop
sheltering a different race, you left home
at times reeking of the earlier day, your shirt
tucked in to be tucked out later 

and at the same door where the newspaper,
milk, flyers about a certain gym
and notices from companies crowded
I let you say goodbye every day
your hands caressing the latch as they let go
I would always watch you wait for the elevator
a few seconds before you disappeared