My ash-smeared body
a tika on my forehead
a chillum between my lips
I sit on the far bank of the Bagmati
watching corpses burn on the Aryaghat
I hear the mourners’ wrenching cries
as I meditate on death
and what follows
breaking my meditation
Seeing foreigners with their cameras
I refill my chillum and pose for them
blowing smoke in the air
of different shapes and sizes.
Madras Courier originally ran as a broadsheet with a poetry section. It was a time when readers felt comfortable sharing glimpses of their lives through verse. If you too have a poem you’d like to submit, do mail us at email@example.com.
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