Asylum Don’t send me back to the land I loved Where blood now rains from skies above The earth upon which I was born Is filled with corpses that I mourn My poor heart breaks for those who stay For every tortured soul I pray But there is nothing I can do As I sit here in front of you Awaiting words from men of law Whose eyes have not seen what mine saw I do not ask for mercy mild But safety for my wife and child The cities here are dark and foreign Yet I am safe, my dreams are soaring Will you return me to my war, The bodies piled up score by score Or let me stroll so strong and free Across the fields of liberty?
Street Jams i. Corner disc jockey Scratches and sways, head nodding Old sneakers salsa ii. Temporary break From predictable fatigue Of clay-stained brown hands iii. Fingers never tire Of syncopated rhythms That rhyme with laughter iv. Motley crowd gathers Clapping palms praise the sunset Hips orbit shadows v. Ivory smiles flash Old ladies shake maracas The hot air hisses vi. Everyone retreats To dinner of leftovers On meager dirt floors. vii. Morning sun wipes clean Dulcet taste of prior days Tomorrow we work.
Mukund Gnanadesikan’s poems have been published in Ayaskala, The Bangalore Review, The Cape Rock, Cathexis Northwest, Meniscus Literary Journal, New Verse News, Saccharine Poetry, Dreams Walking, and Praxis, among others. His debut novel, Errors of Omission, was released in November 2020 by Adelaide Books.