Alone in India

I remember marigolds and the Taj Mahal room 302. Some streets and the bazaar, the train to Srinagar. The stars at night, sleeping with the Indian moon, a white sheet on the window.

Eyes that smiled. The train station saying goodbye. Just buttered toast and tea on the hotel balcony. The Elephant Temple in Bombay on a warm day. Sitting with green paisley shawl and long silk sari on the old bridge in Jaipur in the shadows of purple.

The sea at Goa where Sam rolled up his trouser leg and just before it rained ran into the ocean, wet sobs and cries to come later, when we lingered one last time in Katmandu with the green dragonfly and wet geraniums.

I remember myself alone mostly unconscious when withdrawl of sweet musk and Jasmine incense in Udaipur carried me away to the lake with a white marble summer palace.

A brass bell on the steps of the green Ganges, blue smoke of dead bodies; one thing is certain, the flower once blown forever dies.

Sunrise and boats, he proposed in Kashmir on Lake Dal at dawn on a houseboat while the cook served dal and rice.

Smell of opium long loose-fitting robe, oversize jacket, oil lamps, straw shoes, sheets soaked in Linseed oil to protect against fleas when Isabella Bird was there in 1891.

Field of opium poppies pink, white, yellow and red across the valley, and beyond black eyebrows, red dots.

Subject to fear and doubts, insensible to shame, unaware of erotic Khajuraho I became a Hindu, dry lakes, sweet cakes, saffron clouds far from roads to the cross.

In a flowered sari with blue embroidered boarder, I walked past a spotted leopard tied to a gnarled tree trunk, in the distance the sound of Indian drums at the old golden gate of Pushkar.

My past and present appeared under the cool lime-trees stirring in the night breeze. In a rickshaw alone with only the driver running through the shadows of the trees from nowhere to nowhere before I too turned to dust.

In my hand the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, poems of fears and sorrows that infest the soul, the mighty Mahmud scatters and slays with his enchanted sword.

I waited for the seven stars of India to appear with Venus in the sapphire sky with one moment of the well of life to taste before the caravan left in haste for Shahjahanpur.

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