Amit Majmudar

Three Dances | Early Warning System
June 24, 2016 Majmudar Amit

Three Dances

[from Godhra Poems]



In North Carolina

on the television

in my brother’s house


a silhouette

with an iPod


against a background

hot pink


It took me back to Bali

and a shadow

puppet Rama


with grief and rage

on a backdrop


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



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







all around me in the smog of dusk

that already stank of tires

not yet burning






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



the sun

Amit Majmudar‘s newly published collection of essays is Black Avatar and Other Essays (Acre Books, 2023). Twin A: A Memoir (Slant Books, 2023) is his forthcoming memoir, in prose and verse, about his son’s congenital heart disease. The first volume of his Mahabharata trilogy, The Book of Vows, is forthcoming in India (Penguin India, 2023), as well as a book for younger readers, The Later Adventures of Hanuman (Puffin India, 2023).