IMAGINING MY FATHER AT ATTAR CITY, KANNAUJ
Friday. Agra’s train dips in plated moonlight
of steady rattle and steel. You sigh more than provide
pity into a biscuit tin, desolate as the beggar herself.
She could have been you; recalling the mangled shack
a home we walked away from, charting for finer windows
with pencils blunt, until sheiks of minaret stand chiseled
out of this russet arch, wide-mouthed.
Someone throws ancient attar chants, fistful.
A bottle already twists open svelte twigs of forest
seamed in your wrist. Vein after another. Easily,
you smear just an ounce, the mass of cotton. Let it
flutter like wings— its hunt for the heart.