Sankar Roy

Yellow Fever

"Who is dying there with a yellow heart?" a febrile Mirza asks. "All grungy places are asylums of nerve" Mirza infers. From the concrete's coarseness of whatever city of whatsoever country, a ruler wails to be released from the bondage of his rage. Musicians flee with their mandolins and playwrights hide like the erudite flies. Pythagoras runs with his torn umbrella behind a black Mercedes.

The ceasefire is called off but the vengeance remains: painted faces, bayoneted monkeys dance to a death tune. Survivors wind down the path which ceases to exist. Snakes slither in their complicated skin as thugs discover glamour in technical studios. Someone sings in an invented dialect, Gayetjulie ordonjulie lewiskaren hudsonkate lawlerkate!

The bartender eventually gets tipped for his temptation: fake breasts rest in a glassy bar and pareewashes, wearing frosty lipsticks, burst into beer laughter. A ubiquitous clerk drinks from a water bottle and web-searches eternal junk. Even a locksmith cannot break open the casket in which a great friend hides and does not return calls.

pareewash = angel/beauty/fairy

Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry
Issue 1 | June 2010 | p 44