Poetry at Sangam



SUMMER IN MADRAS by Tishani Doshi

Everyone in the house is dying.
Mother in an air-conditioned room
cannot hear as rivers break their dams
against her nerves. Father stalks verandas,
offering pieces of  his skin to the rows of lurid
gulmohars. Husband tries to still the advancing
armies of the past by stuffing his ears with desiccated
mango husks. And brother? Brother is most lackadaisical of all.
He opens the door. Takes death’s umbrella. Taps it this way and that. Sings.