poem08 Apr 2013 08:00 am

The world on the backs of elephants 

standing room only on the Great Turtle, Akapara
praying she does not dive again
into eternity

but not the Brahmin
riding on the roof of the train car
smoking a cigarette and looking down
on the Ganges, the world-source
choked with sludge
and affluence.

We take the subcontinent and divide it still further
into plots of earth, looking for sustenance
the oil seeping from its wounds and our own
the Gupta regime with its gold trim upon the pyre
a suffragette, a Sati widow
Libertéégalité, fraternité
burning as the L40 boosters explode
the Satish Dhawan Space Center, on Sriharikota Island
taking with it our mended limbs.  Our many-armed nation
bursting at the seams as it reaches upward
striving for equality in the cosmos
made hostile only
by the approach
from the west.


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