How Late Was I, Ciudad? by Sreyash Sarkar

“Don’t ask me any questions. I’ve seen how things that seek their way find their void instead.”

― Federico García Lorca, Poet in New York


It was the time of claws and cloudbursts.

How dead grasshoppers

Bring in air

Resume their path

How roads become houses

And houses become

Trees in a corpse

Of beating roses


In the markets of malady.

I was late to the search party.

It was the time of the thawing sea.

How when I close my eyes

 Its warm wind sweeps hair

From my face

The way my grandmother

Did with her hands,

To see my eyes.

I was late to the shore.

So very late

That discussing


Was disgusting.

I was late to disgust.

But, how late was I?

I have seen those times

And I do not ask for much:

The geometry of godliness

In a household of utopia

So utterly common

That sitting in the sun

Eating grapes,

Painted men

Can discuss,

Noisy failures.

How late can I be

To see my city


Under a trapdoor

With rice

And fries

And goblets of

Washing soda.

My city watched


Books were being



And put to dry

Under a

Blasphemous sun.

My city, a wish

My city, an eye

I will not be late

To my crowning wish:

How with a lifted head

My city,

Singing so proud

To be alive and coarse,

Strong and cunning.

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