Do You See?
New poem published in A Gathering of the Tribes issue 13 collection. The launch took place on July 23 in NYC, when I was in Saratoga Springs. Not far away but couldn’t quite go. Eminent poet neighbors inhabit that publication. There were featured readings by Steve Dalachinsky, Kat Georges, Robert Gibbons, Jee Leong Koh, Puma Perl, Yuko Otomo, Amy Ouzoonian, and Kyrce Swenson with a musical performance by Bible Gun. Tribes 13 features writers and artists including poetry by Adonis, Ellen Bass, and Bob Holman, short stories by Marc Olmstead and Dennis Doherty, visual art by Vidya Gastaldon, David Haines, and David Hammons, along with interviews with Amiri Baraka and Theresa Byrnes, and much more.
If you haven’t got your copy, here’s my poem:
Arisen of Wood
I walk this road with you Mausam
in hot cold weather the same route bus
our heads covered with the dupatta
yours purple mine night-queen pale
and through the sheer spidery weaves
we look at each other Mausam, quick.
I stop by Mehrauli’s seam to quench my
thirst after summer’s sudden squall
dusts our eyes; you too stop Mausam
point with your frangipani fingers at
pale lemons the nimbupani man cores.
We sip almost together at an even pace
embarrassed at the last glottal gulps we
draw, eye each other, my bindi set alight
your jhumkas nestling shy by the cheeks —
Mausam were you scared my brother
wore a saffron-red bandanna of faith
your cousin guarded the green mosque
we both shivered under cursing cries,
did you notice Mausam we both held
only fragile tales in our hands, right when
our homes became fireballs, our bodies charred wood?