Goa, Circa 2013 

Strolling in the drizzle one becomes green like the hills
Clotting besides the river, between you and them a bridge
Last catch of fish dissected at the creek, prawns –
Your favourite
Cooking somewhere in the breeze

Roofed red tiles, curving street, scent of sausages
Drying ignored and becoming potent like an education
A radio clicks, fuzz of signals punctuate the harbour
A ferry roams in its waves and reaches you pregnant

While I sip insipid tea from a patrao’s cart
The season brews over the river, coming with it
An ancient scent of stacked cashews

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Butterfly

catching it is impossible
ignoring it, even more
the afternoon snores, the boy
lost in chores
-but flickering, its beats dot the air
carrying the universe in a glide
in the distance the shimmering tide lowers
the boats park and let their nets sleep, gulls
crowd and behave like flying papers, flapping
…but flapping here is the butterfly
resisting any one spot, resisting
any one audience – playing its mute song
ribboning the air with cerulean and pink
sometimes yellow sometimes stopping to think
on an anaemic plant branch, tanning
under the humid sun
around her the world debates and procrastinates
trees wither and house new caterpillars
music flows in with the evening’s breath
older men at the harbour await their death
as the sun sets a butterfly tinkers before them
sometimes in silhouette sometimes revealed
making old faces move to its pace
before leaving, leaving
a smile on each wrinkled face

Woman at the Window

her floral sari, ageing into paleness 
her window is stained by colonies of fungi 
they blur the outside world into a strange painting
she lets her fingers graze over damp furniture
reminding them of their lost senses
the house smells of unsaid things

walking past her on the cramped staircase
one senses an emptiness arriving and departing
her tired eyes accept the peeling walls as proofs 

I have never smelled food cooking from her kitchen
I have never heard music spreading out of her home
I’m assuming the phone doesn’t ring either
and why those hanging planters have been left to dry
one might never fathom only by observation

in her I see unseen bits of the women who make me
my mother, grandmother, friend, lover, sister
even the passer-bys who I will never register
being a man there are sanctums I might never enter

arriving at window she searches for rain
she kills another cigarette and drifts into her room
at times she opens the window and settles
seasoned by the silent sorrows of
the passage of a thousand moons

12.1.17