Two Poems

“Three Dances”

[from Godhra Poems]

 

 

In North Carolina

on the television

in my brother’s house

 

a silhouette

with an iPod

danced

against a background

hot pink

 

It took me back to Bali

and a shadow

puppet Rama

dancing

with grief and rage

on a backdrop

backlit

by an oil lamp

that a monkey

once kicked over

 

burning down the theater

 

Burning down

like Godhra

where my friend the lawyer

Shaukat Ehsan

is still dancing

in the flames

of his burning Fiat

while a mob of twenty thousand

whistle at his moves

clapping their hands

spinning their axes

 

Qaidi

if only we could hear the secret music

of his pain

we could spin with him

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Early Warning System”

 

[from Godhra Poems]

 

 

I knew about the riots

the night before

 

when I started hearing

the fireflies

phosphoresce

 

click

click

click

 

all around me in the smog of dusk

that already stank of tires

not yet burning

 

click

click

click

 

like light switches

all across our city

 

I tried to warn you, Qaidi

making fists

and shutting my eyes

and trying as hard as I could

 

but at last when my fingernails

throbbed with a pink glow

six blocks east of me

rose that monstrous

firefly

 

the sun

 

 

Amit Majmudar is a novelist, poet, essayist, and diagnostic nuclear radiologist (M.D.). He writes and practices in Dublin, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, twin sons, and baby daughter. 

Issue #60 July 2016
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