Across the house of faith
a crumbling ruin stands without none
People enter, prayers clasped on their stomach
Some leave to forage their daily grocery
Water will not turn into wine.
The trees twist and wind their bodies
Difficult roads to the sky
Traffic snarls around a scabby dog
No cars run over him, someone offers
Food his religion remains unasked.
A face of creases stands under the chapel shadow
Bright squirrel eyes do not mirror
The unhappiness of the balcony haunter
Is that just my fancy, are both the same
Equally wretched, equally happy?
I stand between them
A girl who got a rejection by mail
My unhappiness divides into two
One flows towards god and the other
I look at His
Raised hand unwavering unlike my will
I walk away prayers in my pocket
The wretch on the balcony
Rises, her hand waves goodbye.
Green, murky, opaque temple tank
Spitting out pygmy balloons, the water hiccups
Shimmering restless sunlight swallower
Did the sky steal your blue?
Only men swim here, flashing their chests, breasting the water
The women pay a rupee before removing their clothes
Dingy walls of unkempt toilets preserve their modesty
The tank screams in bubbled circlets ‘swim in me, be free’.
The ducks are the happiest here
Unclothed, immodest quackers
Nobody knows their sex, nobody will rape them
They swim nude, some times, their bums point at the sky.
The quietness of corners
Turn startlingly busy when you pause
The red house breathes
Not disturbing the cherry wattle of the rooster
His loud, incessant cackle on cobbled footpaths
Refuses to announce death.
The cat leaps on a bike
Ears torn in a war where no one dies
A million tongues can’t clean shabby white
The neck folds back as fingers follow throat
Later she will wash her hands before
Swallowing pani puri sanitised of cat disease.
A cyclist forms the curve honking at nobody
The red water bottle clashes with green shoes
Pigeons decide whom to shit on
The cat turns into sunshine
I stand without an expiry date.