issue 32 poetry

Bollywood Shuffle

by Sarath Reddy

An oil painting on wood depicting a smiling mushroom with a green cap with light half circle markings. The background is umber.
Mushroom 4 by Donald Patten

Bollywood Shuffle

A story of forbidden love and overbearing parents
who have forgotten the magic of sunsets, full moons, lightning.
The lovestruck couple discovers the world is small, flat
like a disco dance floor, flashing colors all lit up.
Stepping across borders of status and caste they frolic
in the wispy fog of the inebriated Himalayas,
then to an alpine village guided by the heart’s astrolabe,
chameleoned into colors and costumes to match the scene.
Through a sea of daffodils and detritus of an English castle,
all that is left of Camelot, percussion pounding
in their chest, they breathe life into stone.
When the gyrations end, and an alarm clock jolts
them back into reality, they awake
to stifling Mumbai streets, tin-roofed tea stalls
incessant bleating of car horns, vegetable walas, their song
indistinct from the collective din, where the plot picks itself up
and rides on the back of a scooter weaving
towards a predictable destination.

Sarath Reddy’s poetry explores the world beneath the superficial layers of experience, searching for deeper meaning in his experiences as an Indian-American, as a physician, and as a father. Sarath’s poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in JAMA, Off the Coast, Another Chicago Magazine, Poetry East, Hunger Mountain, and Cold Mountain Review.

Donald Patten is an artist from Belfast, Maine. He is currently a senior in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at the University of Maine. As an artist, he produces oil paintings and graphic novels. His art have been exhibited in galleries and sold in art markets across the Mid-Coast region of Maine.