these fires never stop

even after the flesh melts
off the skull
and the soul escapes,
the embers of what was once grandmother
glow warmly at midnight
making cold dogs curious

death stalks the nostrils
like spirits of war,
no way to avoid it here
on the banks of mother ganges
the river of life

death in your face,
on the roads,
staring back at you from
ma ganga and cloistered hovels
in the air
as soft ashen bones
and charred flesh
floating its way towards moksha/liberation
or to another spin on this

people coughing congregateDSC_6284
and dying dogs with swollen nipples
roam in dark narrow alleys
where the fog settles
like oppression
over this “city of light”
where Kali haunts visitors
she demands blood
from her stony face
and greedy red tongue

and she gets it
because she is mother of all

over-dead cows,
bloated, distended tubes of flesh
float by
joining feces and plastic
in these sacred waters

a holy man’s soul released
while his body,
dry brown flesh
clinging to skinny bones
join orange marigolds
in the dark waters
Sinks quickly and disappears

Like everything else


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