By now, my hair is long again,
and curls around my neck. It has
uncombed itself in grief,
and is thick and slick with oil.
At times, it seems to hiss
from mirrors, or from the edge of sleep.
Such are snakes: Split
from end to end, their tongues
are treacherous and whisper:
"She will be back."
I long for Fakirs, or a flute to soothe and stop
the simple, the snivelling snake. To sing
a song of silence, and of India,
its waters warm and ever-blue - O India!
To be far away, and warm.
I have never been to India, and here
the days are cold. My hair
is all that is here for me to bear.
The snow is cold, and the wind is cold.
From my nose, something presses at my eyes.
Snakeskin is cold, but I will not
go bald. A story is better than none,
a song of sorrow can still be sweet.