Pocket Change

Journal Entry

San Francisco Airport

21/5/04

Pocket Change

Sitting in the airport — American legs, Indian arranged.

I empty my pockets of India — to show for nothing but some change.

A Rupee or two, of our affair the only proof.

Having travelled across the world — now lost among the suits.

In the middle of stiff trees, as we all wait in line,

I drop into a squat, like I’m still on Delhi time.

And I scratch my head and nose,in a manner that appears absurd.

Sideways eyes are noting that — which those in India never would.

A deep Indian tan runs all the way from my ankle to my toe.

In a land where naked legs — judge such a line a beauty “no.”

Double strapped around my wrist, a ratty red rope still exists.

Only an Indian would see its meaning — as a tie to a puja still stringing.

And the mantra in my head, if chanted even once in voice aloud,

would warrant a call to the police — by the white man in the crowd.

And so I hide low in my corner — American legs, Indian arranged.

Having found something left of India — beside a little pocket change.

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