There is a bus stop
under the railway bridge
which I pass often
on my ramble through town.
The motorcyclists wait
on either side of the road
away from the whimsical trajectory
of paan, pee, and shit
whenever a train
trundles over the bridge,
a blue millipede
on shiny iron wheels.
Since last month, a bearded man
is domiciled within its stone pillars
with the plaster carved by three
generations of fingernails
into nebulous shapes
that obey subconscious mandates.
Most often he has a book
in his hand and gabbles on
in a sibilant language of his own.
When he is not haranguing the air,
he lies down on the stone slab,
head surrounded by mineral water bottles
that give off a faint glow
like disheartened candles.
Imagine the irony of a man
eating, sitting, and sleeping
in a place where people come
to catch a bus in search
of multitudinous destinations.
When the world is in transit,
he remains motionless.
I look up at the relentlessness
of the train wheels that run
over themselves and try
to picture this man in their dead centre.
*Kayamkulam is a small town in the district of Alappuzha in Kerala where the poet hails from.
Sambhu Ramachandran is a bilingual poet from Kerala. He is Assistant Professor of English at N.S.S. College, Pandalam and is also a doctoral candidate. He has published an anthology of poems in Malayalam titled Vavval Manushyanum Komaliyum. His poems in English have appeared in Borderless Journal, Madras Courier, etc. You can find him on Facebook here.