By Adreyo Sen
Man on the Phone
Unconscious he is that unconsciously
He is a thing of beauty,
One hand poetic elegance
As it addresses the air,
The other a bracket ended by slender metal
Transporting him to a world
Almost entirely imagined.
The street registers his tableau
With indifference. I pause, fascinated.
Then move on.
The night is a memory of forbidden silk.
It clings to my ankles
As I survive the day,
My male clothes imprisoning
My many selves and adding weight
To the feet that think they must have danced
In another life.
I see myself small in a stranger’s eyes.
With each blank gaze, I grow smaller
Till I am less than an idea,
A thought forming at the back
Of a not particularly busy mind.
I become an afterthought to myself.
I do not realize my feet
Make a heavy impression on the sand.
The tea seller at the park
Magnified by memory,
Shrunken by time,
Greyed by an artist clumsy with the lines
Remembers me after a pause painful
If only to me.
“Yes,” he says, “You lived here
Long ago.” Other customers approach.
He grows busy.
But I take home his pause.
It embitters my nostalgia
And proves strong medicine
A Ruffled Intellectual
A man of bathroom profundity
Committed to the consumption wholesale
Of classics that also serve as doorstoppers,
He was perplexed to find himself hilarious
To a tiny serving girl.
In the great breadth of his character
Was not a single iota of humor.
He could not understand her.
He frowned impressively.
He wrote a poem about her.