|Apr/May 2015 Poetry
Photograph by Rus Bowden
When you land in this foreign city, where a closed-circuit
camera projects your grainy face into rooms full of strudels
and steaming tea, the taste of metal in the air and baggage
reeking of rain and spring-weeds catches your throat.
You were afraid of dogs since the day a stray
chased you (then a six-year-old eating a tomato
sandwich on your way to abacus classes), squeezing
the sound of pumping blood into your teeth,
wrenching the acid from your stomach, spraying
it into a pool of vomit in the bushes nearby.
Now, the muscled black figures follow your
bags, taking in their scent, the way your fingertips
quiver in the tubelights, your sweaty hair. When an officer
pats you on the back, you turn around, and the sandwich
you are clutching in your hand materializes, out of
a meek memory, ready to be torn at, and ready to be
released, half-masticated onto these floors, where
the dogs sniff at you again, and again.