Treasure Island

Salil Singh

(19th April 1991 / Agra)

The Golden Gate

Behold the Golden Gate.

On the first hundred meters of the road that leads to it,
Seventeen foreigners stand apart and shout,
“Thou shalt not pass! ”

It’s a long walk
But the road’s always empty
And the weather’s always good.

your only foes
The Golden Gate.

Before you set out
The lame will cry
into their braces
As will women
into your faces,
But walk.

If you must,
Fill your pockets with bread
for your hunger
And silly string
for your loneliness
(Or a cat)

A lot of things might happen.
I know,
for instance,
that you will

You might think
That you have died.
You will wake up.
You will blink,
then you will cry.

You will then laugh
Begin to wonder
and stumble
and wander
and sit.

Then you might stand.
You will discover that
your arms and legs are long!
To the gate by sundown
they help you lope along.

Do I catch you
Mumbling to the wind,
“It’s fate”?
The sun has caught you up
You are winded
and cold.

You bundle up and sleep there
Exhausted, right under
The Golden Gate.

That selfsame sun
will soon be dawning.

Driven oblivious
by your eight hours,
you open your eyes
curse that
next morning.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, December 24, 2013
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