Construction Literary Magazine

January 2017 Writers Respond

City Existence

City Existence
Photograph via Flickr by SoulHappyLife

We were never rooted to our land.
The smoke, the clouds, the dust–
the streets of Delhi I knew as well
as my veins. And I detested them as
I detested the Sun, as the light
of the mountain noon.
//
the grey cement, the garbage–we
lived like primordial men. Yet, the
air conditioner was our saviour,
the Noah and the Ark. Yet, we did
not realise, it was neither the ark,
nor the wood of it– it was our
karma, the snake came back to
bite.
///
The skyline was empty of stars.
It craved it, the dark not dark,
the black not black, but simply
a colour, something to be only
be acknowledged with a nod.
When it rained, we made a point
to never get wet. When the Sun
was out, we complained till our
throats ached. And we kicked
the winter away as it came.
//
We stuck our throats out
to dry, becoming men with
wrinkles and spotted skin.
This was how our time
diminished, our bodies
diminished, each hour we
had given to building this
city – diminished.
//
We flew rootless around
the Sun, letting smoke bury
us deeper than we’d known.

No matter where we were, we came back this –
this rock of cement, the flower, the tornado, the metros.
No matter how grounded we kept ourselves,
it was the tile on that pavement that always
called us home.