Sport 27: Spring 2001
An Elephant On K. Rd
At midday on K. Rd outside of ‘Little India’
I pause by rice sacks stamped with elephants—
at midday on K. Rd as the Indian shopkeeper
suddenly splits open the equator of a watermelon
I'm lost in a reverie of sunlight and traffic fumes.
K. Rd becomes an open vein…K. Rd becomes the River Ganges
where funeral pyres float burning through a blue and smoky heat haze.
As if in a dream two Buddhist monks stand in front of a money machine.
In the Regent Fish Shop window a snapper peers aghast through gold
In the Salvation Army Thrift Shop old shoes unwanted and forlorn
pine once again to walk the streets of the city.
Old coats voluminous with other life
dream that someone one more time might fill their sweat-stained linings.
In a room upstairs at the Rising Sun
a guy with no work hears a fridge through the wall
shudder to a halt as if it were his own heart
that had suddenly murmured. He looks out the one window
to a block of apartments shaped like a harmonica.
Through the half-opened door of The South Pacific Sauna
faded purple curtains move about in the wind
like the first act of a play
that is uncertain of how or when to begin.
In the tattoo parlour a girl who sold her body for a few scraps of paper
at midday discovers a rose tattoo on her shoulder.
At midday I find myself still outside of ‘Little India’—
the shopkeeper's machete is wet with watermelon
an elephant surrounded by white butterflies
walks slowly through red traffic lights.
On the dusty parchment of its skin I begin to read this poem.