invisible bombays


We left somewhere a life we never found, Customs and gods that are not born again…

–Dereck Walcott.


You in your blue lattice houses

Should not listen to streamers of my steps

Maps of my arrivals and departures

Weight of my Cinq rivieres

Each one of my sealed similes

Each one of my uncouth accents

Refuses to sweeten in the center of your fire

Each one of my asphalt voices refuses to acquire

Your grammar your spire your tree rustling your Natural History

Your soft hands plucking café Colombien and Earl Grey tea

Your child-like blink when in your land

Manuscripts of might are overwritten in white

And the other Scheherazade is slaughtered every night

You say it’s simply the illusion of dusty smoke

The work of cold parka winter

That makes me spin obscene graffiti

On the while navel of your Nagasaki Raj deity

So, before my wretched double-helix pales

And your roots dissolve my thousand and one tales

I must speak

Of this time of that place

Of that time of this place

I must speak

Before even dreams wear at heart francais ou anglais

And still my city within my invisible Bombay

For your wild boys have discovered all harbours

For there is no return to the soil of my saffron sighs