The Wolf who cried Boy
Sing little coin, sing in my palm
Bounce and return.
Now whizz past streetlights into
Metal caps with pointy edges
Scratch my hand
Drink in the blood
Of my coked veins
And store it in cola bottles.
Crinkle Crinkle little note,
Slip from pockets like rote,
And crunch before you
The heart behind, to mint a new one
For angry hands stretched out of windows pulled down
Spitting and smoking Jaguars
Wipe my Slumdog fingers on window-shields
Before the red light asks the ‘Busy/ No time/Get out of the way/Bloody traffic jam’,
To push my pendulum-body to mean position.
I am Many. We swarm the zebra
Torn from grasslands and tarred
For crossing into the next birth
Of an Antilla.
One box of tissues, tricolour flag, sunshade, towel, pirated book
Knock on dark glass and darker gazes, unseeing.
My hand is a product, my face is a bazaar
The many multiples of me,
Scatter chiaroscuro like
Into huddled faces of Incredible India’s poor
Perfect for photography.
Nervous fingers why do you creep
Count my vertebrae in winter?
Why do you sleep
When my spine is a splinter?
Eyes eyes so many eyes eyes eyes eyes eyes
Follow, reach, grab, play, savour
My vagabond blanket
My broken chappal
My father’s stash of beer bottles
Lidless, burning through my vest
Sharp nails drill into my skull
Tighten screws of where my money has to go-
“Yes, that is all I got today.”
And my sore cheek sinks soundlessly
Until my face drips off.
Colour my collapse
In two mountains, a river and a smiling sun
Change pastel stubs for Dunhill stubs
And smoke me into tomorrow.
I shrink to my skeleton for medical students
Ribs, lean muscles, memories of cheeks
Quiet chest, wheezing lungs
Smog and acid rain
Have almost fried my brain
eunuch-pimp-policeman-Father-Road Roller-Municipal Corporation-The State Government-
The Vote—have taught me-
- It is a free country
- I have the right to learn
- I have the right to protest
- I have the right to choose my religion
McDonald’s: For Sale (First Come First Serve basis)
Burger (almost whole), freshly thrown, patty intact.
Get. Set. Go.
Tript Kaur is a recent graduate of the MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies from the University of Cambridge, UK. Her love for English and Punjabi literature, particularly children’s literature, has led her to compose poetry and short stories catering to young readers. She hopes to derive strength from her regional, linguistic, religious and gender identities to comprehensively work for social justice.