I am an American tourist in my room writing letters.
Outside the air of Calcutta trembles in the terrible heat.
Air conditioning gently wraps me in cool air.
I call room service and the cold drinks
fly in like tame birds on my bearer's hand.
The Wisdom of the East, I decide, drinking,
would be wiser if it used more American devices
to give the body ease, thus freeing the mind
for meditation on eternity.
I sit there writing careful English,
wanting to make the deliberate phrases prove
that I really am here in an Asian country,
a jet-propelled Marco Polo,
my blood stream brave with shots and antibodies.
Outside the window, screams.
They go on and on, each an echo of the other,
in a dark, small, desperate voice.
I am outraged by that rage.
Who can write words, hearing that wordless noise?
Did I fly over oceans and mountains
to sit here and yell at that yelling?
I rush out to the street
wearing indignation and a dark businessman's suit.
A thin and hungry woman has just given
her brown breast to a hungry child.
Nothing of her has fulness but that breast.
In this heat, even my eyes sweat!
I wrap my shame in a smile like spit in a Kleenex.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem