My country is engulfed in flames today
and it is not a wild fire kindled by
a live cigarette
but by arsonists spewing out mindless
words of hatred.
By pied pipers hypnotizing us to
jump off the cliff of love into
a valley of hate.
We aren’t antimatter and matter out
there to annihilate.
A gun, a bullet, a stone cannot annul
another, it only becomes an outrage.
Replace the battle cries with peace songs
only we can right our own wrongs.
We aren’t separate,
when we spill blood
it isn’t disparate.
We are a mohalla, we are a mélange
of skull caps and forehead Tilaks
of temple bells and prayer mats
of Bhagwat Gita and Koran revered in the
with a religion of empathy,
while coexisting is a necessity,
in the face of this spate of ferocity
that we need to empty before it empties
us of our morality.