What Rough Beast | Poem for November 5, 2017

Chaya Bhuvaneswar
Gordimer at Dusk

There was a ripped basketball net, just a few threads hanging from metal
Well-hung, perpetually ready, moving in the breeze or in the gust of wind created by people swishing.
There was the hard thwack of basketballs metallic from the air in them, punching down concrete.
Ripping away at the rubber.
I sat unnoticed for hours, bench under shade, shade near the grass, grass holding snakes, for all I knew,
And there was Doris Lessing in my hand, and singing grass and terrifying lust that leads to death,
And braided, cryptic Indian women in Gordimer’s book, their tension crackled in the plastic of library coverings.
I read these books and learned about terror.
Not the kind that galvanized rallies, made blood electric, bouncing off fences,
But terror, silent, sitting by itself on a park bench, cold and crying, old before its time,
Defining “writer” as a woman I could never be.


Chaya Bhuvaneswar’s  work has appeared in Nimrod, Bangalore Review, Blue Lake Review and the Asian American Literary Review. She is lives in the US with her family and is a practicing physician at work on a novel.

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