On smog

If I could have any color I found to rouge my cheekbones with,
I’d streak the peachy rose of Calcutta’s twilight smog across my apples,
In place of the exhaust and dust catching to the salty dew
borne of an India afternoon sun.

The clouds tinted here at sundown
are more than a fat little cherub-pink;
they glow with the almost apricot of a lazy flame,
lit underneath the toiled pace of henna heels.

Between the grey of the cinder buildings,
and the paled navy of an ambitious night,
there reclines a thin coral outcry of color,
smoldering the cheeks of pale Kolkata’s enticing mug.
Even amid the clamber of bells
and yells
and the evening prayer,
the crows have seen the fire in the face of the city
and silenced their hungry (albeit generous) calls.

Maybe the rosy red smearing cumulus tonight
is no blush of bridal proportions.
No, maybe instead this lusty flush
is a heated cry of pomegranate angst,
tart and sharp in your mouth,
telling of embedded little furies,

Burning
and churning
for a little peace tonight

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