Priya Sarukkai Chabria,

Rookie (Chennai, India)

The Lady With The Little Dog - Poem by Priya Sarukkai Chabria,

As light funnels from the sky to the earth,
I circle a college ground, watching
boys kick footballs into the fading:
Small moons play dark suns to a drowning day.

She’s always there; pale, large, menopausal, with the soft
voice of doctors trained to soothe, an E&T specialist skilled
at hearing the muffled longings of the inarticulate.
Her evening walk is a gentle sway made wayward by her dog,

an ancient Pomeranian, fat and furry,
that mounts the division of species
in its need to copulate. It desired me, shagging
with front paws clamped to my calf. Absently,

she tugged the leash, talking of the autumn, as I wondered:
How does dog semen smell, and how long do we pretend
nothing odd is on - as another day falls in mundane splendor?
The evening passed; abruptly

days charred into night as veils burnt and lifted
once for all the miasma of a world confounded
by commands from hidden men who called
to heaven -to kill the earth’s inarticulate.

Once for all, a world that was leashed and fed reared
on its hind legs.

She hailed me as our paths crossed, the light descending
in greater glory as days quicken towards winter, splurging
green, purple, pink over furry clouds, and the spaces in-between.
The sky’s excess spoke for us as we measured in even tones

our distress at crimes supported by the neighboring state.
One by one we counted each attack, we recounted the hijack
and acknowledged the fact that terrorist camps breed
across a dividing line, a squiggle of black on bequeathed maps.

Each time we paused,
to let our grievances steep and stain us darker
than the dark staining overhead.
In this quiet she murmured:

They should all be killed, each one.
This, while stroking the softest fur beneath the dog’s jaws
as it rolled its eyes and licked the sky,
whimpering pleasure. I went mute

with sweet longing, my tongue tasting heaven,
yet I was shocked by my desire for bloody paws.
Ahead the ground lay empty of young men and balls
kicked up to mimic the sun.

Overhead stars appeared, irrepressible,
through the night.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 7, 2006

Poem Edited: Saturday, June 19, 2010


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