12.1. Sampurna Chattarji

now in Mumbai
memory of residency in Switzerland.

Bluegrass in the room with zebra floorboards
Spiders named Tarantella! begin their dance
In the corners of the room with zebra floorboards
Which can be no more than a minute long as the crow flies
And settles on the shoulders of the two musicians
Sinuous with fiddling as the room with zebra floorboards
Faces an invasion of flowers so small they could be sequins on the skirt
Of the gypsy who has this minute entered with a leopard around her neck
Hurrying the room with zebra floorboards out of its slow time
As she whirls into the corners where the spiders have hung themselves
On the finest ropes of silk in despair at never being able to dance like her
Who has conquered the room with zebra floorboards in four minutes flat
And when the foxes have finished reeling and the Bonapartes retreating,
The crickets dancing and the wings shaking, the Bihari who calls the shots
Calls the evening to a close and returns to contemplating the word ‘kesergö’
In the room with the zebra floorboards minute by minute towards home

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