Having a Ginger Lemon Honey Chai With You

 by Saumya R. Kedia
            
            after "Having a Coke With You" by Frank O’Hara
Is even more fun than going to Bombay sans return ticket
or being late on a deadline again, or forgetting our
belongings but never giving up the hope that they 
will return to us. Partly because in your banana  
shirt you look like a modern mermaid who
has discovered the inanity of clothes, partly
because of my love for you, partly because
of your love for ramen, partly because of
Sonipat skies and their continuous sunset,
partly because of our private eye rolls
that reveal more secrets than they keep,
it is hard to believe when I’m with you
that other people are not as transparent 
ergo allowing light through isn’t a function 
of personhood. In the mess lawns, at five o’
clock, we whisper as if the red bricks have
cameras for cement, photographs have face 
recognition…and I wonder why in the world
did we as a species want to be seen so badly.
I look at you and thank god that you are not
a photograph. The photos of our mothers are
enough. We come visit them together. And the
fact that you dance so freely after a glass of gin 
and tonic more or less takes care of rhythms and
the fact that you nap on the grass with me ensures
that the ginger lemon honey chai has been drunk,
the strawberries well-eaten, and the metre sung.
Behind the Dhaba, I never think of my mother
in her bony frame, faded blue denim pants
with contrast stitching matching her t-shirt,
and brown belt, and what good does all the research
do when she couldn’t go to fashion college because
of tuberculosis and an overprotective father. Or for 
that matter the red bricks who wish to be sky blue, 
which is why I want to tell you how grateful I am.

Saumya Kedia is a writer from Mumbai, India. She is finishing work on her first manuscript of poems. You can find her @saumyakedia1 on Twitter.