Vijayawada

It’s a city of carcasses

but, some move

a river runs through it

On a train to the dead city

I put my hand on my heart

to know I am alive

I step out into a stinking dawn

take an auto

drive on still looking at my watch to know how much time I still have to be alive

vijayawada- you putrid city, that cries — a wailing cry

your people are busy having snacks and chai

the bandis are alive

Look, a man is pissing near a food cart

another joins in

they both chat, looking at each other’s dicks

It’s all right

Vijayawada, the city merely cries

Further down the Bandar road

people queue up for a Darshan of the angry goddess

it’s all life

the city of carcasses cries

Now I get down and walk down a street on my right

walk walk walk

just walk to show them I am alright

what do I see?

people who have forgotten to die

I go to a house now

yes, this one

it’s a shuttered, closed old house- ugly and squat

with small plants growing in broken buckets and plastic cans

Hello, hello I cry

But, when do the dead reply?

hey wait, look

who is this walking towards me?

a vision in white

there is a cross in her hand

the book in her black bag

she is old

but her hair is pitch black

her skin is unlined

but she has forgotten her reading glasses

she is the woman who moves but has forgotten to die

Will the woman in white get a funeral in this city that cries?

a city of rotting carcasses who sit in fancy restaurants, drinking whisky and rye?

ah! this rotten, dead city sure knows how not to die.

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