Poetry at Sangam




I want to marry him I whisper into the TV as a three year old because who else can open a car door handle like this tall swaggalicious man who else chews on a toothpick like a hot first kiss and it’s hard to find words to articulate the whirpool in my belly, his eyes that mourn but turn mourning into something sexy. Whose voice is chocolate bubbling baritone, he strolls slow while other men are falling in the middle of curry western movie fight scenes and oh my god is he puffing at that cigarette or trying to create an orgasm this man this six foot two pillar of desire
and the bad guy says
“now you’re in trouble you rogue, we’ve been looking for you”
But he? He tilts his head back, exhales smoke
and says “you’ve been looking all over, while I was right here waiting.”
And when he goes looking for the bad guy he stands like a rock in the middle of a hurricane and spits
Agar apni maa ka doodh piya hai to saamne aa.                  Dammmmn son
you’re going to make a girl unable to walk straight your smirk hits hard as a double vodka and gin cocktail. You so beautiful on a motorcycle, hard and lean on a horse. You dancing but only moving one muscle, you resplendent in remorse. You drenched to curve of chest in rainfall, you gun cocked with half smile. You full of anger and tenderness and sex, you aviator sunglasses, wide collared, bell bottomed styled.
God help brown girls like me everywhere growing up watching you on screens.
God help my brown girl’s hunger and my brown girl’s sweltering dreams.


(First published in Cities: Ten Poets, Ten Cities: Recent Work Press, 2017.)