Poem: If by Jared Angira


a squirrel crosses my way
while on a trip
then luck is mine
but when it’s a cheetah
or wild cat that crosses there
I turn and go back.

I knock my right foot on stone
while on a trip
I melt in joy
since I shall be overfed
but when it’s the left
I turn and go back.

I slip in my shirt
the inside coming out
I jump in merriment
for I shall be overfed.

the first being
I meet in the feeble dawn
is an old woman
I turn to my blanket
it’s all ill luck

I dream my relative dead
in midst of sweet slumbers
I wake in joy
knowing he’s overfed
the previous night

and if I dream I am dead
I rejoice
for growing an inch.
and if I dream
of my ideal girl
then I lose hope
the answer is no.

I wake up in the morning
and find my teeth shaking
and loose
surely I know
they went eating excreta
while soul courted in fairyland.

A hen crows
it must be killed
bad omen
a dog howls
instead of barking
the village owner
is at death’s door
and if I walk on my head
then I am dead.

— Jared Angira


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