by Jayant Kashyap

                 Delhi, 2020

Delhi today is like a dried-out battleground / after one
final revolution. Sentries in khaki thrash / young men

on peculiar vehicles / for something I don’t understand.

I hide my sewed-up face / in dark alleys; people look
at me from the other side of their windows / scared.

I’d have called myself Frank / had they asked, for a change.

Someone covering his face walks to me / like a complete
nutter, says there is 85% chance I won’t survive / the end

of this. Smells like alcohol / and defeat. I don’t understand.

I was so many dead people once. Nothing / about death
worries me anymore. I don’t tell them / any of this

or they might name me Monster again.

Two hundred years of running / away from everything
and it keeps coming back / to me. Someone says / I look

like a vampire, white in death, but vampires heal. Someone
says / this world is a perfectly round, stupid orange.

And we, we are like scattered shreds of rain.