Sunday Poem

President Trump’s Visit to India

—February, 2020

The whole city of Ahmadabad was reworked
gods came down holding a broom dusting
the face of a prime minister who wanted a
new scroll reading his sacred text for curators
of all temples but a few were ejected from
his scheme of love, and meanwhile came
the American president with an accent
and a language nothing less of a pantheon
of plosives and sibilants masticated for a Sanskrit
now bastardized, but he ensured that Lakshmi
is an acronym of capitalism, and he having
the best in silicon can boast ‘they were all my
sons” and also being a straw of a civilization
Where good fences make good neighbors
however all roads but the one not taken by
now makes no difference while in front
of the gravitational splendor of Taj Mahal
he and the first lady posed; Mumtaz sleeps
making poets to wonder, back in Delhi
a city that often fell like a meteorite
vigilantes trample heads in blood bath
there is no East India Company but its
indigenous franchisers, our corporate
crocodiles now nabbing skinny bodies
without respite, no one can ask the dead
why the living are so proud of living.

by Rizwan Akhtar