Hour 23- what I miss

browsing through
a mile of second hand books
on Sunday morning
holding hands with a friend
as I haggled
over the right price
all the dhabas
with their competing aromas
as the air fills
with the azan from the mosque
Ah for a day in Darya Ganj

Hour 22- ekphrasis

Portrait of a Lady

alabaster skin
against a mermaid gown
in black velvet
as easily cast aside
as the slaves
that helped her into it
breath held
she steadies herself
on the society
that put her in a corset
to keep her in her place

Hour 21- exaggeration

Her Cup Runneth Over


My friend’s wife ever so kind
she is certainly one of a kind
her teeth that stick out a mile
they will have to do for a smile
an hour she made me wait at the table
before giving water from the stable
The dishes stuck with jewels
of ancient crusts and drool
The sweet a thoroughly cured stone
that shook my teeth to the very bone
the pancakes that landed splat
even looked like flattened cowpat
The mice that ate them died in a pile
And those that didn’t ran a mile
I decided to just eat some buns
And for three days I had the runs
And she said I was welcome anytime
And I clearly heard hell’s door chime

Hour 20

hop on hop off
a crow crisscrossing traffic
for the squished rat

Hour 18- Table for Two

Table for two

how different
my voice sounded
the first time
I ordered a table
for two

not long
before we were asking
for a high chair
onto table for four
and child menus

how my voice
didn’t make a sound
the first time
our son offered
to foot the bill

now we are back
to a table for two
our voices
excited at the sound
of the phone ringing

and now
alone at the table
the quiet
broken by the scrape
of spoon on plate


Hour 17- no cliched loss

A limerick

I have lost something priceless today
yet I don’t let a hair go astray
you call me a dumb ass
I let that comment pass
after all it was your whole month’s pay


Hour 15- an old myth

leading them
out of slavery…
the sea
cleaved to make way
to the promised land

the waves of men
unrelenting, unrepenting
in Kamathipura
whom do those empty eyes seek
customers or saviours?

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