Photo by Jason Knott
The Other Side
by Genny Lim, from Winter Place

Wilted roses
incense
old hands

On the other side of the room
lying there with
vibhutti on your forehead
I look at you
through a tunnel
34 year old child
peering at me through wire-rims
praising Bhagavan
chanting mantras in the dark
drifting barefeet
to darshan
to kiss the lotus feet

I touch your hand with
a surgical glove
clumsy with the use of many words

Behind the closed door
a long way from Bangalore
A wan smile
settles over your spent face and
you close your eyes and
murmur bhajans your crucifix and Sai Baba
smiling overhead

On the other side
as your head sinks into the pillow and
you hear silver bells and
voices of Vishnu and as
you drift towards distant foothills
till dawn gives way
just over your shoulder
I can see
through the bay fog

Two sisters
climb Russian Hill
hold hands and laugh
to keep from falling

copyright 2001, Genny Lim

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