Into the black coal night seething with rage,
A man in a loin-cloth walks sleepily on the
Last remaining wall of a fallen building.
This strip of wall-top, one storey high, is his castle, his home.
He dusts his pillow onto the dangerous cheek of night -
A night which is possessive - accustomed to stretch its arms and legs
And sleep, comfortably, in this chunk of space.
This man is trespasser.
He could bring others to his wall –
His wife, his brothers and sisters, their children, his village.
The man stares at the night. Below his perch there is a storm of cars,
People have come to eat at Apoorva.
He smiles to himself, content with his bed;
The stars are heavy, dripping with drunken light.
In the corner of the subcontinent, south of Kerala’s toes,
An army of invaders is charging forward.
The stars hear it first, the anger building;
The night shivers with its allies’ advance.
As murdering knives descend into the flesh of night
It retreats fast into the spaces people build to keep nature out
And smirks as water weakens the foundations of its new home.
Only the man is stabbed in his sleep by the rain.
Published in Fulcrum, USA. See http://fulcrumpoetry.org/issues/3