Saturday, June 19, 2010

In a metro

Blunted by time and distance
The sharp edges of the city,
Its jagged teeth, festering sores,
Putrid underbelly.

Long have I been away
To a place where still I see
The inky blue of midnight skies,
And hear the shrill chatter of birds.

Till recently I went back and lost myself,
The sky invisible, stars dimmed
The moon jaundiced,
Dust clouds on roads, exhaust fumes
Sticking like dandruff in the scalp,
Rushing hordes everywhere,
Briefcases in hand, cell-phone to the ear,
Watchful, weary eyes awaiting, darting,
Turning hungry at the sight of prey.

Zooming cars, the very life a blur,
Like a cinema unspooling in reverse,
Or a record on fast forward.
A limp city, drooping in the sweltering heat,
Its existence defined by droplets of sweat.

Having had enough, about to escape
To the confines of my shelter,
For a flash, weaving through relentless traffic
I thought I saw a child
Helping an old woman cross the road.
No, it must have been a vision,
Born of a perspiring exhaustion,
Such mirages are not uncommon they say,
In the shimmering heat of an April day.

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