This, This is an African Moment by Amit Parmessur

Lighting a crooked cigarette in a bus overfed

with bushed Sunday people. The young conductor

too effeminate to bring back order, with the smoke

stirring silent angry looks.

Sipping some stale

Coca-Cola while being already drunk, with the

body swaying to every whim of a hungry bus driver.

Watching then the tragic landscape

for a bit of elusive escapism.

Feeling too hot, and a bit frustrated

with someone’s beautiful wife sitting just in front.

Trying to swear in a language not resembling the

mother tongue but that of a faraway father’s habit.

Falling asleep after a few drags on the cigarette

that rebels and falls down

after being left alone between stinking fingers

as good as dry ladyfingers without balls.

Being laughed at by neighbors,

by well-dressed and perfumed neighbors

with intentions darker than lethal black ants.

Waking up to have a second drag on a cigarette

that is missing. Starting to

swear heroically, searching for the cigarette that

has rolled into someone else’s temporary territory.

Aggravating the situation by releasing

from the pocket a handful of stolen,

old and bent coins onto the ground, with them rolling

everywhere like the rapid shells of paralyzed tortoises.

1 comment:

Old 333 said...

This, this should have been entered in that fancy Montreal world poetry contest. It would have had a much better chance than my own sparse and bizarre offering to them ever could. Excellent poem! And thanks for it, Amit and Black-Listed; I enjoyed it.

Peter G.


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