ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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When Fascism Comes to India


When she comes to us, it will be
with a smile that whispers ‘hallelujah,’
and she will kneel down after every

 step, calling out names of people
whose death she’ll wrap around
herself, a flag that flutters around

her skin, nationalism broken down
into easily understood (and repeated)
words of monochrome sentiments,

she will sit down for a cup of tea in
Assam, claiming every faceted identity,
absorbing every ability it provides, as

she sucks the blood of those she was
supposed to feed, and then she’ll sit
with hands stained red, claiming bridal

innocence, and promises of remembrance,
sneaking into the house we built with a
fleeting step, skipping over our sleeping,

 indifferent bodies, settling on the head
of the table, as she gorges on food cooked
for the entire family. She will be loved,

 loved so much that her sins will be taken
as the norm, echoing our own apathy,
and she’ll slowly start burning books on

the kitchen stove, for hard consonants and
words with more than three syllables seem
to attack her personally, and the house keys

 will glint in her hands, as she scrambles the
intended plans, pushing critical thinking to
the end of her list, introducing, instead, hymns

 to sing as she sits on our backs and breaks
our ribs, crushing soft flesh under the stomp
of her foot, each tread that she rises pushing

 down growing mounds of bodies, putrid fumes
guiding her rapid ascent, underlining her plans
for the fabled promises of happier, better days,

 and the poets will come together to mourn,
we will come together to sing the dirges we
learned for just this day, and just this time,

wondering if anyone had ever paid heed to
our broken rhymes, of the days we had warned
the day we were told that silence is the only

memory of our work, and she will pet our
heads, smiling gently, benevolence incarnate,
wrapping our shackles with wisps of silk,

claiming we were better off with them on
our skin, making us stand straight for another
day, frozen statues of her maniacal display.



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