Chapatis for the Drive-By

my rectangular slice of India unwinds like a film-reel
scrolling past the safety glass, I am detached, packed, confined to coach,
while just three inches past me is stuffed full with all this India –
comedy horns honk honk! – “Prakesha says, ‘Like roadrunner,’ and laughs.”

post-rush hour, men flop prostrate on top of green and yellow rickshaws,
or in flares lean on tabac shacks with corrugated cardboard shades
and pat the sacred cow’s forehead, ribs jutting, wading in hoof-high
debris – powdered cement, plastic, manure – “mounds like market spices.”

boys in Chelsea tees loll on carpet piles. I catch one’s eye –  and snap –
he averts his head – embarrassed, conscious, I replace the lens cap.
but at the next stop light he’s caught up with me and smiles, toothy grinned,
extends a small yellow flower, close cupped, in his best English – “hello!”

About the author

Ceci Mourkogiannis started writing poetry after attending an Arvon Foundation course. Ceci is the editorial director of Libertine Magazine, dedicated to showcasing the talent…

Read the full bio

Issue 05 · June 2009

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