(For Inshah Malik)
In a Southern city safe as a plateau
Rioting artillery reaches me on rolled-up paper
N’ television screens I don’t always care to switch on
Dreaming blue skies n purple grey horizons
Inhaling tulsi scents concentrating on breathing
I will not bear the sight of the mutilated dying
No, not as the first thing in the morning. No. Surely not.
A school friend from the border comes home for tea before
adding any sugar she speaks of holidays spent sweeping
children’s brains into papers with her journalist brother(17
I think, this is a little too much. Surely she needs therapy.
And though it’s all got a bit messy, we must finish our tea.
Manola Gayatri writes, teaches and performs. Born in Bangalore, she is currently based in Pretoria.