Ranjit Hoskote

(29 March 1969 - / Mumbai / India)

The Hotel Receptionist's Confession - Poem by Ranjit Hoskote

What could I do? I trusted them and they let me down.
They'd shamble in, flashing gawky legs, waving bony arms.
Or shuffle in crab-wise, bow-legged, too short
to sit at table. And there I was, thinking how poised
they'd be, how diagram-perfect, walking on air.

Believe me, it gave me no pleasure to tailor them to fit,
no pleasure at all. Imagine the horror of breaking ankles,
chopping hands at the wrist, stretching ligaments
until they snapped, or trepanning a slice of skull.
I had to do it all. But it was worth every minute, it was.

You have no idea how beautiful and transparent
a little blood makes the world, how perfect.
And how else could I have got them
to lie in comfort on my flawless bed?

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 26, 2012

Poem Edited: Tuesday, March 27, 2012

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