This Road

In this little hill town, where the eight o’ clock night sky, snakes like ash, encircling, circumscribing and circumventing the dying, azure twilight, I stand on the front lawn of this hotel: a natural green carpet, strewn with cigarette buds, and pull on my Marlboro, the orange glow a miniature replica of the houses glowing like fallen stars or shops with broken neon halos. I’d like to think that here in the fog, and where the wind doesn’t splutter, splatter, cough and brave the tough dust, mortar and industry, or carry with it the stench of ditchwater, like a weak labourer, knock-kneed and begging silent providence for redemption from toil, drink and pain, where trees aren’t gnarled and anemic like geriatric men having no glory except yesteryear’s nostalgia, except battles won and wars lost, watching loved ones fade like flickering planes, the roar before the silence, the joy before the crushing loneliness, where life still thrives and throttles the patchwork boogeyman, slaying him with mystical daggers and making him the petty doggerel he is, where poets are the sonnets they write, and villanelles aren’t political slogans but songs sung or shouted with passion, where the nebulous sparkle of this place in which fathers still tuck in their children who play football on small patches of ground unsoiled by walls and construction signs…yes, I’d like to think that each thought of mine will find you and make you smile, and walk on though we once were and will never be.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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2 responses

  1. A small town vividly captured,
    Nitin. Amid yesterday’s shadows
    I could taste the tough dust, and
    inhale the Marlboro fog , “where life still thrives and throttles”.

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