Bees flutter,
magnolias screech in bee-tongues.
Mobsters play tic-tac-toe beside the puny rampart.

Tricksters choke snakes,
audience claps in mauve.

Chrysanthemum strips and dances in promiscuity.
Honour of the dead sighs.
Choking on its own old, dried spit, dies.

Three people lick their lipstick and make love.
It makes three different sounds,
a tumultuous undercurrent of
debauchery, fury, and angst.
And a sound of orgasm in unison.

Two miles south in another city,
a dull-painted caravan, three children screaming.
All staccato.
Just like their mothers’ breastfeeding.

A teen peeps through an aperture in his door,
moss on his feet complain of his trespassing.
Outside, a lynched mongrel is cremated.
He sings – dooba sooraj…kin aankhon mein?
(Translation: the sun drowns in whose eyes?)
(Translation: the sun takes refuge in whose eyes?)
(Translation: the sun blinds whose eyes?)

Bhajan and Azaan play in congruity.
Two men hold each other’s face in a sultry lock.
A kiss.
The middleman is charged for blasphemy.

Inside my house,
a sooted palimpsest in my hand.

Evening arrives, a moth flies in.

The moth sings a ballad of queerness.
I ask the moth its gender,
then punctuate her crescendo with lament.
I scratch my skin, then snatch my skin.
A sultry moan, a cutthroat gender-race.
Ashes redolent of dichotomy
in my backyard.
Small fingernails reminiscent of disdain
on my hands.
Saliva hopeful of womanhood dripping
off my lips.

My visceral struggle, her glottal victory.
An obvious defeat.

I am a human, she’s a moth.

But I disgorge my anomaly.
Mother prepares lavender paste.
The palimpsest looks new again!

The moth leaves a rosemary at the door
and flies away.

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