Tainted Margins II.

I lit a cigarette and looked at the newspaper. I never read the newspaper. Newspapers only bring bad news and Brecht had taught me years ago that I will laugh only until I receive the bad news.

“Jaipur is the first city in India where I witnessed Indian poverty”, he said to me. “Old men on bicycles, animals on the street, dejected people…” 

“Yes. I grew up there”, I told him. There are a billion people in India, he continued. Yes, I know. I am one of them.

“In other parts of the world
there are people who are born, live and die
in a perpetual crowd.

To be always visible—to live
in a swarm of eyes—
a special expression must develop.
Face coated with clay.”

I am always visible, dear poet. Visit me sometime. I live between poverty and poetry. My diary will tell you that the first time I saw the ocean, I thought it looked like the desert. That when I kiss a man goodnight, he wakes up with sand in his mouth. That on those crowded streets of Jaipur, I cried when my grandmother died.

Follow the moon, not its reflection, to reach my landscape.

Moons, dear poet, don’t reflect on disappeared seas.

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