24. Amma

The city clutches at its throat for air,
its peeling fingernails scraping sidewalks, clawing
for rest and finding only rats
bloated with sewage water and disease.

Schools atrophy into grey. The chaiwallahs yank
closed shuddering metal curtains.
Cats shriek as gushing gutters fill their homes.
In the far-out neighborhoods,
men float plates of sweet pongal to homes of the elderly,
people trapped in the everyday places of safe,
and politicians plaster
their own triple-chin likenesses on relief packages,

so when we treat water with iodine
and dress our soggy wounds, we can remember
that Jayalalithaa sits amongst scattered jewels,
a beacon above it all,
counting her saris like the radio counts lives


One thought on “24. Amma

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s