Black Sand

[from BLACK]

Black Sand Or Nalini

On the

sweltering bus to Jamnagar I was unable

to speak a single

word. In 4 hours more bodies

touched mine than

in my whole life

that sacred sweat cut

like a knife

 

Just before dawn I tried to stop

the sun from rising so I could catch

a breath free

from the sound of bat wings

 

Over and over my body made shapes

on top of Halvad tower

the smell of decaying dynasties

and forgotten escapes

 

Sleeping on that cot, my cot

I saw snakes seething and deserts dry up

and skies become

hazy

and glowing eyes daring me to

come closer

 

At the funeral pyre where I contemplated

death

and at the rock quarries where I held my

breath

and the whiskey we smuggled on rooftops in

the middle of who knows

where

and does it even matter

where

we got

there

by camel cart led by boys with

solemn grins

and beads of sweat that never

knew sins

 

I / was / so / far / away

from who I was and

who I was becoming

memories of identities like

Black Sand

slippin’

through the hourglass of

my dirty fingers


India 2010

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