Spurned Ashore

Tonight as dark clouds pass thunder-laden, I walk an ocean bed, the glowing creatures of which swarm about my naked legs. Hart Crane isn’t dead.

With Lemons and Pilfered Honeycomb

while she re-lives secrets: wedging a chair beneath the door handle, stealing offerings of orange slices out of Lord Shiva’s hand, tugging the gold watch from the dead man’s wrist, shielding her face from the everyday this-and-that.

Forgeries of Burnt Skin

In this City of Sin — Such beautiful forgeries! It’s been a pleasure, really — Lying in air-conditioned rooms, feeling the silky sheets on burnt skin, while 26 stories beneath you — a glorious carnival continues.

Sketches of Men and Other Obsessions

The room whose mosquito net protected me from spirits And from falling into the trappings of pataal The way two children in a mythological film did A film whose name I don’t remember anymore And can’t find on Google.

The Weight of the Salem Express

the first ‘thrain’ lisped from your stories, how as a child you enlarged two anna coins on the tracks with the weight of the Salem Express then tossed them into the pulp of the Cauvery for the peace of your ancestors;

Ink Between my Swollen Fingers

A sad small affair Goes past In the street — men and women And budding generations Ferry along In a disenchanted cluster Merrymaking With old folk songs, timidly whining from a brand new tape recorder.
Mehmood Khan by Namrata Jain

The Lost Night of the Desert

Tourist’s camel ride– With a promise to find the location for shooting Of Chandani… I had imagined the throes of love with an older man at the age of fifteen, The film had given me gooseflesh. The bonfire and kalbelia dance I was ready.
Ephesus Celsus Library

Letter from Ephesus

The Road to Mazar: They said the north was safe and so I went, stepping through the snakes of the Kabul airport, face and body draped in burka blue,

France Poems (Paris & Toulon)

The train weighs lightly on the locomotive and moves like a hurried whisper. The landscape, to my surprise, looks a lot like the American Midwest: parched grass, unfettered trees and thread-sized electric cables tied to giant poles. The grazing cows might have looked healthier, but I couldn’t tell.
Ireland tavern candlestick

Cold Marble on Hot Skin

That was the month of the yellow winds dust storms from china tear gas from guns-- That was the year I learned to cry again to shake as if it were a prayer; Easter Sunday, surrounded by troops the students began to sing: something about freedom
Morocco lamentations kettle


The day we arrive, the map says duck pond, but our host crosses out the words impatiently: not a duck pond— it’s a lake! It floods sometimes, enough to wash a car away. A man drowned there a few years back. Jeremy demands proof: How can there be a funeral with no body? We walk through town. The duck pond by the road is flat and calm. Two weeks later, young Karam, brought by his father to help welcome us, retells the story.


always women in the dark on porches talking as if in blackness their secrets would be safe. Cigarettes glowed like

Kneeling with the Living Wolf

  Generosity Snakes inside my head Awaken In early morning dreams And demand milk By noon, slithering they come closer to my forehead In between the eyebrows, languid They copulate freely, locking Eye...