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Sasenarine Persaud


Sasnarine Persaud



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Love in a Time of Technology*[1]
 
And you will forget
how foxes yelped at night
near the Morningside Park
how mongrels roamed in packs
howling and barking
in a rage at spirits of the dark
fowl-cocks chain crowing
lighting up a foreday morning.
You are immersed in the Internet.
You have forgotten
how to speak, to say, “I’m sorry.”
and you will part as you have met
through the portals of the Internet.
 
 
Love Afterwards
 
Shaking with the tremors
of a distant plate shift
you will recall that library
touch of wrists erupting
from the space between our feet.
You will learn
earthquakes reoccur
anytime along the same fault
lines. And you can pace
in the same reading room
in a dozen different cities
in a thousand different ways
waiting for the same aftershocks:
the building has crumpled
the cars scream uncontrollably
dust rises from the rose garden
the iron chair is twisted
and you will ask
of every stranger you meet
among the broken concrete
how could this happen
how could this be.   
 
 
Visiting the Taj
 
In this virtual honeymoon
we saw moon set
—as  advised by the info-site—
and sun rise
on the courtyard bricks
a replica the emperors’ erasers
missed: how do you remove
 
Shiva’s trident on the pinnacle
wasn’t a moon sliver
or a crescent morning
Rabindra would compose
on a Bangla waterscape
 
but Ganga descending
through the Himalayas
in Shiva’s head
hair piling on top like a mountain
 
the serpent’s in the details:
 
A trishul on the pinnacle
hoisting a sacred kalash—coconut
on mango leaves set on a lota
centered on a thousand puja altars
in South America
Rabindra recuperating
in an Argentine villa—
were there no longings for “home”?
 
What else did Victorria offer
in untranslated Spanish notebooks
in unresearched Indian histories
unwilling to precipitate family
or communal uprisings in the shadows
 
cast by expressions of “immortal love”
in the courtyard we touched
your manicured toes hovering
above a stone etched replica
 
of our worship atop the main dome
the emperors and their british raj
could not erase or deny
in this crescent morn
mist rising from the river
disguising the burglars
a tourist crying: thief, thief, thieves!  
 
 
Fifty and 50
 
All the things you said of fifty
at twenty were lies fed by fashion
and Holly-Bolly-wood.
Muscles are stronger
you know how to hear-not-hear
to let trifles go to trifle-land.
 
All the things you said of fifty
at thirty are phrases
you can’t remember. At forty
you were busy looking for signs
of midlife crises that materialized
only in the books you didn’t write.
 
At fifty you aren’t thinking
of fifty; you are thinking
we will not write sonnets—
artificial forms on love: to be sure
 
Shakespeare was a hack
an Elizabethan Bollywood scriptwriter
who could teach you nothing
of an age he never attained: not Lear’s
not Caesar’s. Run a mile or two
at fifty cycle twelve, kayak
on the Hillsborough River, cut the lawn
when it is over 100 degrees F outside
rekindle romances imagined at fifteen
there are those who say come, come
act your age—who says, live your age? 



[1] With thanks to Kavita Ramdya for this line from her review of In a Boson Night 

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