Issue 16 – Summer 2009 – Arun Sagar

Arun Sagar

Afterwards, on the Quay

                                           The sailboats
   have left for this year a-
                  long with the stalls 
                             and concert stages, the
     people wearing T-
                   shirts emblazoned with 
                                   flags and lyrics to old
                           folk songs. All 
   your seasick sailors, they are row-
                              ing home. Rare
   that a cover rivals the 
                                     original, but 
      what can be done in this
                                depleted time? And  
                now we face these 
two strangers dancing for 
                            us while the buses re-
          sume their hours and 
                                   prices descend in the 
                     restaurants. White
  tents uncover rope and wood. Red
                            carpeting in the
   official shops. See
                how hard it is to en-
                                    ter the scene, her
dress ashimmer against the
                                brick gymnasium while an old
      man checks his hat for
                         change and ladders 
of sunlight quiver across the 
                                         water from the dan-
                cers to me. Chimay 
                           Bleue brims in my
                                            glass. Trails
         of rubbish float up-
                              on the water, close-
                  ly followed by a 
                                                          flock of gulls a hundred
                                               miles upriver. 
                         pointed beaks when seen
                                 up close. I am
  sitting on the stone they 
                                                   use to anchor ships. 
   The ferris wheel is slowly
                                 turning, but your
         ticket is only valid
                            for today, so go closer to
   the postcard clouds, get
                               a good view. The
                                           lifting bridge is still up high
          enough for smaller  
                             vessels to pass through, sea-
   wards, and who among us knows how
                         many years be-
                                                 fore it’s raised again?



Arun Sagar grew up in India and currently lives in France, where he is working on a PhD in law at the University of Rouen. His poems have appeared in journals and anthologies including The JournalDesiLit and Hand Luggage Only (Open Poetry, 2008).