Poetry by Indran Amirthanayagam

3

Music Man

Yeah the man has a belly

but the photograph lies.

Up close, from the side,

he still knows how

to shilly and shally,

and he keeps a woman

or two happy, daughters

and mother included.

He is skilled managing

largesse, with lots of love

and a bemused grin.

He makes music and

brings musicians together.

So we give him some slack.

The photograph cannot speak

really for the man with all

his bile and guile and heart

bounding, and his careful

eating of fruit in the morning

and roti in the noon day,

with channa, medium spiced.

Man dances calypso at night.

He writes. He alright.

Toppling

Give me your elbow. Take the Host in your hands;

but, Man, the Pope just spoke the sermon from

his living room, on video tape. This matter

is turning extreme. A taxi driver got infected

from his ride. Can we really shut down a city,

a region, the whole world? Be prepared

we are told. We were waiting for fire, a bomb,

icebergs breaking up; but this virus is more

insidious, a slow shaking and swaying

of the building in the mind before it falls.

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