An old Adam’s apple glistened on my father-
My old father- on my father’s old throat.
After a shave, after a save; after he came back from the hospital, after all concerned had lost all their hope
and then, regained.
My Adam’s apple glistens too in the morning light
(like father, like his son?)
After I shit, bath, brush, floss and shave.
To pull a long day and a quieter one too as one pull the wools over one’s eyes
and get drowned in the matinee’s terrific irony-
Why, that is my usual business.
I wonder what I will regain.
His mullishness, perhaps?
Before the end of the time and before the end of
my elongated days.
While reading a biography- a new book- life of Michelangelo or Kemal Pasha; invariably I will ask on some grand pages, “Did he know?”
“Did he know what?”
“Did he know how would it end, how would he himself die?”
“No one could possibly know that. Don’t be silly!” I will chide myself.
But as soon as the conversation is over- me naive being silenced by me reasonable- there will be a self-assurance of a fortune teller and an anxiety of a disciple, in me, while looking at the prospect of a great man.
Here from the
Jumping through the hoops of an emerald jungle,
a fawn; old lassos of shiftiness of being: tilting, swinging- from the branches-
the clicks of its follies, hitting against the pebbles of sorrows,
clacking like hoofs.
To each on his own.
I’d rather be a shepherd dog.
Restless but, stubborn like hell.
Guttling the innards of the mournful demons who came cloaked in a hoof dust
dusk- shrieking- I could tell-
Wailers!- they were my own.
Finger nails are the filthy urchins from the street
under her skin-
grow up without kindness
to squander with the tidy woman that she sees-
in the mirror, in calmness,
or in jolt.
While the potatoes are food,
being mashed in a saucepan on a cranky
tamarind wood table that’s got its temper
from my grandfather
is nothing but getting married to my grandmother
who through the
measured veil of shyness has already measured
her man- but to stir him further, pouring
into the pan
a ladle more salt.
There is no mustard oil at home, no affection either.
But that does not stop her
from mixing his anger
with her petulant nails- mother promise-
she will scratch him dead, blind him or worse
until he halts.
It took fourteen years for the great man
to understand he didn’t love her.
He didn’t love her. He didn’t want her.
He didn’t like her touch. Her pitiful
face aged early and made him cringe
when he was lonely with her: naked lonely.
Oh, she was lonely before- fourteen
years. In the woods of forsaken love,
in the hut of ascetic dreams, besieged by
an immortal king who’d shadowed her
door but withheld lust. She hadn’t known then
in her heart what else to do but wait.
The king was dead. Tonight’s light. Against
the pomp of the capital lamps the great man glowed-
her man- the heart of the heart- the winner king-
face clean, disappointed in what he had won.
This war, oh, this strangeness of life- struggle-
struggle. For this? Let’s be alone soon, Sita.