How I Fool My Critics

I write my fearful Indian lines
and look up my dictionary
for meanings that are not mine
and the next moment I worry
and so must I because
I do not know what my meanings are
do you know them, Roopsa? Roopsa
you are a name I have played with too much
to avoid sex
but my dictionary advises me I cannot.
ever. have sex like that,
and so
I remember my pretentious Calcutta schools
where figures of speech were
admired like women and women
like so many pieces of legislation
you and I and Roopsa cannot understand.
I write my fearful Indian lines and
can now only look up in awe
at the great bit of nothingness
that Roopsa and I had once, defying our
accepted as nothingness