September 21, 2017
A dream swells up inside me
like a flooded, wrathful river.
Kayoed by the heat of a pink star I see
it refuses to set quietly into the dusty horizon,
and insists on staying, as they let it, in Finland–
gazed at by bewildered girls
on drugs in a still pond.
There I lie, at its behest, dizzy, immobile, befuddled,
keeled over, face on rugged surface, my firebrand
heart and in slow-mo, my weak nose thwacked
by some unforgiving piece of earth, as I drop.
Ritual of passage
into the subconscious.
Lo, a new world finds my feet:
I’m the sky, in my chest, a procession
of ecclesiastical fruit bats float
over, into the firmament above India gate,
and unable to stop at the thought:
what pigeons do to humans under them
what bats don't.
As the sun is spilling over the crown of Jama Masjid,
in this dream I sight The Devil sighing
regretfully, atop its red sandstone and white marble–
structure and color, dervish together under
the stubborn, brilliant, sun that once
belonged to Dylan Thomas alone.
Meanwhile, The Devil–
He’s had a long night, and no sleep.
Whispering to himself, ‘What have I done?’
He holds his head in his hands, turns
and lunges forth to grab my collar,
"What’re you doing here?" with one fist,
and with the other, an open palm, gesticulates
"The savage victory of India's orange
clad henchmen, pure as the Ganga in 2017,
clean as the khaki that adorns the genitals
of their cult! Those who will
not be named among the likes of you
for fear of…"
trailing off, he disappears
into thin smoke.
I shake my head in despair:
even The Devil is sad.
He has a sense of justice.
Medha Singh is a poet from New Delhi. Her first collection of poems Ecdysis (2017) has been published by Poetrywala, Mumbai. Her poems have previously appeared in Nether, Muse India, Beyond Borders, The Bombay Literary Magazine, The Journal of the Poetry Society, and several others. She is currently Editor-at-Large at Coldnoon.
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