A friend said, take a bag of marbles,
pull one out for every year you’ve spent--
then look at what’s left, mocking
you from the bottom of the bag.
That’s how long you have left, pal.
So I count black marbles from the
jewel box I brought home for Blythe
from my journey to the Taj Mahal.
Shining lime-white in Agra’s evening sky
its pale marble skin cooled the night.
Below, ghats sparked trails into the sky
souls rising to heaven like fireflies.
Dusted by paradise, the sigh of jasmine,
the squawking song of the parakeets.
The fevered brow of the tea-wallahs.
The sand cranes cried for evermore
gone to close-up like Shammi Kapoor.
The sunset was so tender
The sky burned deepest blue
The dogs howled in anger
But the meaning all was you.
Another marble lifted from the box.