The Sting in the Tail

By ARVIND KRISHNA MEHROTA
Wearing loose clothes, light cottons,
you sit and fan yourself with a newspaper
supplement, a glass of tepid
fennel-flavoured sherbet by your side.

From the window you see
a car turn, a bus pass, or a cyclist,
a towel wrapped round his head.
It’s forty-five degrees centigrade
in the shade, and according to the forecast
there’s worse to come.
A neighbour’s genset
thrums in the background.
At night, still without electricity,
in the sooty warm light of a kerosene lamp,
you read John Ashbery and thwack! That
was a fat mosquito
leaving your forearm.

 

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra is the author of four books of peotry; the editor of The Oxford India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets, Collected Poems in English, by Arun Kolatkar, and A History of Indian Literature in English; and the translator of The Absent Traveller: Prakrit Love Poetry and Songs of Kabir. A volume of his essays, Parital Recall: Essays on Literature and Literary History was published in2012. He lives in Allahabad and Dehra Dun.

[Purchase your copy of Issue 02 here.]

The Sting in the Tail

Related Posts

The Hundertwasser House in Vienna

Etude No. 2 and Etude No. 3

KIM CURTS MATTHEUSSENS
in Rome a monumental marble typewriter / ticked out their story into the sky: two lovers / devour time. she lay on the lawn near Trajan's / column. he plucked letters from her dress, / her hair, served them to her by hand, by mouth.

Image of an intensely green trailhead.

December 2022 Poetry Feature: Kevin McIlvoy

KEVIN McILVOY
On mine spoil. In debris fields / of asphalt and concrete and brick. / Upon sites of chemical spills. / Along lifeless riverbanks. / In clonal groves so hardy you / have to steel yourself for years / of killing to kill one acre. / Where construction crews rake off / the surface

field spotted with red flowers

December 2022 Poetry Feature

TOMMYE BLOUNT
It feels good grazing against my skin, / all that satin and muslin—a high / thread count to tuck in / the American Dream. Embroidery / and tassels fit for men like me / who would pay a good buck / to be a part of this invisible kingdom. / Ah! This flair for pageantry / seen in a film—