Near a Municipal Colony / arjun rajendran

The buildings seem to cough.  The river is a single
black lung. Shirtless men haul slabs of ice—

I’m not sure if they are for the melon vendors
down the road or for the bodies in the mortuary.

A leper hand walks to the fruit stall. A distant
gunshot scatters all the birds; the crows

are the first to return, they reoccupy their spots
on telephone wires as if to memorize the madness.

Youth lean against a wall, eve-tease with impunity.
A crowd gathers to watch a lemon spill blood.


Arjun Rajendran has poems upcoming at SOFTBLOW and Nether Magazine; previously published in various international publications including QLRS and Pyrta.