The City Rolls Down The Road


A gleaming river crawls on all fours
between fiberglass and loose sand 
surreal as the easy life in this built-up jungle
if one has a map 
I do not

The city rolls down the road
at 3 in the morning
escorted by tall giraffes of light
The darkness having no place to go
comes and settles upon the watcher
mewing like a hungry kitten
insistent that I break my peace
to feed the little pariahs of doubt
waiting at the edge of dreams
©Reena Prasad

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Eyes in the Dew


The teak door with its brass lock
creaks, its lone eye is foggy
I lift it up slightly by the hinges
and twist the key 

A cool morning frisks me
benign fingers caressing sore spots
The skin still sultry in the aftermath
of a humid night trapped between sheets
but underneath
a vigorous puppy shakes off dew drops 

And then eyes appear 

I see their whites rolling
in the night rain filled coconut cups
behind the two tall palms holding
the broken swing 

They follow me through  fragile
spider homes
on the crisp walk to the stream
Their gaze on the mutinous curls
loose on my shoulders with silvery webs   

Red eyes of a coucal on the well rim
follows them and me
as silvering the gaps, dawn appears
between the rubber trees 

A drought stricken bottomless well, I drink in
the cackles of the kulakozhi
the scampers of the baby squirrels
the sway of the rat snake
gliding towards the faint yellow in the east
and the ominous feel of human eyes
having a feast
 

The stream goes its way
cackling about its hidden worms
to the early ducks 

I return
to turn myself in
to the door with two eyes
They tell me I had been seen
waiting for a man in the mist  

It was to escape the sightless eyes
that I chose the ‘unearthly’ hour
The man they chose to conjure up
verily had no eyes for me

©Reena Prasad

*kulakozhi = Moor hen