9 pm

The water peddlars –
boys pushed to adulthood
before their time –
huddle in the thick dark,
drowning in a sea of mosquitoes,
beergincoke & cheap talk & slobbering
about petty cash for Christmas,
Alaxan for swollen muscles…
The future is long way off
if it comes at all
they would barely notice it.
They couldn’t even imagine
their lives would be better
in any year of the century.


The man on the motorcycle
blindsided her
so he could snatch away
the bag she had slung over her shoulder.
He failed,
leaving her sprawled on the asphalt
with bruises & a lump on her head.
She thought that sparks flaring in her eyes
were her life running fast forward.
This country chews you up.
Even if you obey the rules
but she would not be intimidated:
The culprit should not leer.

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