Sunday, April 6, 2008

My first visit: Night at the crematorium


I was
so blinded by fancy lights
The harsh gray of my tunic
The betel juice stains
a myriad of patterns on the wall
A solitary wail
The collective chants
The pushing and heaving
The bumps so smooth
The jerks so shallow

Little balls of cotton
wedged against dead skin
Stubborn sticks of incense,
Stale tears and drooping flowers
Rusted metal doors
A flash of orange
The heightened scent

And money spent
On elaborate rituals,
Packaged water and cheap biscuits
A muddy canal, some eager hands
And a floating pot

Empty streets, limping dogs
A bleak wind blowing
So listless, so calm
And blackened was the starry sky
So blinded
Was I

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