Lunch on Holi

immediately after lunch though
for ten minutes depression almost drowned me
facing curtained French windows

my blissful gods ebbed away
women’s crooked feet walked over my face
into my hair
I could hold my expression no more

I let the anguish bend my fingertips backwards
and was conscious of hunger
in the leaves of shade giving trees

just then your mimicry
of off-tune drums cracked cymbals
and debauched voices
came and took my attention away

and then we all had tea

Ashok Niyogi was born in Calcutta in 1955. He has two published collections of poetry in India—Crossroads and Reflections in the Dark (both from A-4 Publications) and has one published book of poems in the United States—Tentatively (iUniverse). He has been published extensively online and in print in India, the USA, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and Holland.