Saturday, December 29, 2012

Woman takes a bus in India

  • Here's a poem I wrote about taking the bus in India, which got left out of the collection 'Sips...,' unfortunately.


    My parents, landed with luggage
    In the lurching bus, handed me
    Over the jammed bodies
    To the seated conductor.
    The blue-uniformed, paan-chewing
    Dispenser of tickets, keeper
    Of a bag full of jingling change,
    Held my three-year-old body
    Locked between his knees
    As he ripped off a ticket
    To Paris or Moore Market,
    And blew a whistle in my ear.

    I leave a laugh at the doorstep
    And plunge my body sixteen
    Between the backside of a fat woman
    And the violence of a thousand rearing men
    Who plough into a city bus, every hour
    On the hour, to sow their bulletin.

    The numb, dumb anger
    Of a thousand sournesses
    Raise head and spear this body.
    They grind and grind like teeth
    In a fever of sleep,
    And the hot release of stoppered sex
    Scalds me again and again,
    As the bus jerks to its destination.

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