Early Bird Special: Charlie Parker
on the jukebox, summer sweat tunes,
a memory amid the notes, noted.
This was when I drank – drunk, drink.
Clack clack ice – click clack counter:
sober now – sober you, still sober.
Once – one time, a morning walk
down the dirt pebble streets of Kolkata,
where stray dogs mother kitten teeth
– blackbirds and cracked satellites,
a conch sings like waves sliding
onto my gritty tongue, a fog-filled
sun. I hear that ringing in my ribs.
Cut and splice: now.
Acadiana rains – a music patters
against the windowsills paned
to my mind: how a silent owl sits
in my garage – my Dida’s red lips
and thin bangles strolling down
her wrists. I listen to ragas and blues
– no more ice and no more counters:
only a brief breeze bringing India
to my Cajun plates. A saxophone,
every now and then, chimes
in to remind me: the music remains
the same – the history of rivers
navigates new paths in chirps and dew.