30. alwarpet

can’t you hear the music? it weaves

between buildings, through wefts
of winged-sheet clotheslines,

o joy unspeakable! here, wear it
in gold anklets fastened to your feet;
don’t you hear us
dancing everywhere you go?
the jhannak-jhannak
of good mornings falling with footstep
rain.

wake the neighbors, pull them to join us.
aunties in green nighties billowing,
vermilion yet to crown their widows’ peaks,
uncles squinting through sultry honeyed
slumber, specs forgotten,
wide-mouthed babies too young to know sleep;

hand them tablas and tambourines and God.

we will kiss their feet, we will
laugh in lightning. our duty here is simple:
not to sing, but to echo.

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