In this Issue - Poetry
We never talked about whether Jains
were OK with electric crematoriums
when I was younger. These days even
the chairs have opinions on mortality,
speak with certainty, like people
who are convinced they know exactly
which mosquito gave them dengue.
We learned to say trunk calls,
long-distance minutes with
the lost boy or uncle in England,
Is there anything more moving than two young men
in a Toyota Rush parked in the corner of level P3,
stealing a little time and space for themselves,
exchanging kisses wide-eyed – keeping watch as one
The bird cried with a wildness, yellow beak parted in gasps
as his feathers peeled away with the pitch,
skin underneath raw and burned.
We left him there, panting under an overturned laundry basket,
too ashamed and weak to end it.
You can appreciate culture
fold your legs in supplication
bend your head, fast all day in a temple
knowing tomorrow you will be home.
There are the gentrified mountains, not
Enough to unsettle, no, but enough
To be a logical foil for the gleaming city
Construed for a new nation.