March 2005 / Volume VI / Issue II
Ashok Niyogi
Cul De Sac

Children tumble,
Paw prints, big and small,
Heel and toe imprints
Workers’ boots with serrated soles,
Tire tracks
The rear right one is bald,
Shopping cart castors
Weaving through pedestrians,
Puddles of melting snow
Shaken off from boots
Chandeliers at the Metro,
Flower shops
Tram tracks,
Blinking McDonalds,
Babushka with gnarled blue fingers
Begging for kopeks or fungus infested bread
Outside the office of the Euro
Bemedalled cripples back from Afghanistan
Festoon a blind Lenin
Shoulders heavy with yesterday’s ice.

Empty beer bottles
Crushed packets of Marlboro,
Graffiti on stairwells,
Blond stubble on heads stuffed with hate,
Me, with my circumcised brown vision,
Icy blood of undefined pedigree,
I am marked for slaughter
In the abattoir of the Gulag.
I cower behind the Swastika
Chained to my door.