Jacaranda City

i.

here upside the earth everyone speaks

a thousand different languages, all the

signs stretched beyond imagining to

incorporate the tectonic levels of history

emerging, some, from long uneasy sleep-

step out on the burning cement, cracked

in places and broken to bits where the

poor of a flat world huddle their tin sheds

against the wealthy quarters

no one is frightened anymore

because when you are always frightened

there is nothing real left to say about it.

ii.

when noon rises up,

thick and full like a froth of

flood, the heat smoothing its way

across all the acres of delicate

flowers, hanging in trumpeted clusters

from violet wreathes-

any port in a storm, they say.

dank bastions of imperialism

rotting into pits of whiskey and

sweat

the sun has been shining long before any of this mattered.

iii.

nothing ever

changes and

nothing ever

stays the same

the news at night is full of murder

and summer, far away from where

the rest of the world might be huddling

beneath the gauze of snow

iv.

the government functionaries take their lunch breaks,

braving the heat from the Union Building, shadowed over

the architecture of long-ago empire, like a slain storybook

dragon who leaves his bones for building, building always,

and on the corner a child steals an old man's wallet and

then runs like the twisted river-course, hiding behind a

tree in sudden gorgeous bloom.