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.