My kolapuri is not tough enough to walk this
Mile-long march of rainbows and glitter and flamboyant-oriental dances
It gets stuck now and then, in the rubble of the Nepali dust where
Brown women’s feet and breasts are crushed into one mouth-shaped organ that screams
Through the slabs of sharp concrete and earth-smelling darkness
To their children as the rainbow hoisting men adopt brown babies
Oh so very nicely
(and his still-burning cigarette slips through the cracks of concrete into the open mouth of a rubble-mother)
Go on, save my brown baby and leave my feet camouflaged in the debris
Make scarves and saris out of your rainbow flags, make rainbow fags out of my bruised tongue
—go on, steal the colors
Of this kolapuri.
My baby is covered in a white blanket to blend into the
arms of a macho gay man and you all sing
You sing praises for him while I moan elegies for my baby, lived and saved.
My kolapuri has all the glitter and shine and dance that you
Profit from oh so very nicely
But you– you do not see these intricate sequins sewed on Sindhi cloth,
The multiple hues of vegetable dyes painted on the
worn out soles that bear the weight of baby and mother,
These are the wrong kind of colors for your pride.