Nadia Chaney





pours into a river



the bus stopped in front

of our motorcycle

throbbing with bodies

bright buttons

rake-marks in hair oil

yellow nails road hard

in rubber chappals


a man’s bag

snags in the bus door

his feet lift

his face a mask of shock


bus shudders

hurls forward

asphalt steam

licking at his soles

will he drown in front of me

dragged into relentless currents


but someone uncouples him


falls from the bus

to his knees he falls

head bowed falls

hands on the breathless road

in his stillness

his falling

framed in currents


of braided gold

acid wash

heirloom leather

fresh banana leaves

stacked high release

fragrant ghost pools and

rows of live chickens

hanging from a pole


all that is this river

flows around him

swallows his salvation

just another ripple

in the rushing

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