For the men who mugged my husband
He wasn’t in the wrong place
displaying indiscretion, swaggering
like planktons in an ocean of alcohol,
discussing the art of pollination with pimps.
It was six p.m.,
a time when the sun leaves
the cacophony of New York City
in the arms of solace, heads towards home.
He was walking towards the entrance
of the 14th street subway stop, armed
with groceries for my party and a poisoned apple—
a bag from the Apple store as a gift for my birthday.
Bees smelled honey, showed up from behind—
a kick, a punch knotting his spine,
ribs on the floor, face licking dirt,
rats running, lights on the PDA crushed.
As the city witnessed this crime
and ER ran urgent tests,
I sat ten blocks away, unaware,
sipping chardonnay tasting like tears.
I am no clairvoyant,
yet I could sense something wasn’t right.
I left early, not knowing
bad news was two steps ahead of me.
I was told the hospital tried to reach me,
but I checked—
no missed calls or messages.
I want to believe doctors don’t lie.
When I got home that night
flailing bones opened the door—
my faith screeched, blisters of anger grew,
mistrust crawled like ants on my spine.
Don’t for a moment think you won,
a woman never forgives.
I curse you with my silent hands—karma
can smell vomit, take care of everything.
And as you turn a hundred and twenty,
and rats nibble on the bricks of your home,
may your body never feel free
as loneliness strangles you in an airless room.
Country living ain’t my thing
Waking up to the sound of my breath
hurling hostile stones, I bury
my face until the morning mist nudges me.
The blue bedspread spread, like the hips
of a seventeen-year old cheerleader,
over the angry February trees.
The breeze, grunting mother bear,
announcing its unwelcomed arrival,
and the spring, lurking around, shivers.
The silence of the hills, the faith
in unlocked doors and cars make me
write verses of sadness every night.
The voluptuous orange in the sunset
an introduction to the odor of solitude.
I wait for a firefly to keep me company.
My shadow hides behind
the feast of termites as darkness
perforates and hisses:“You’re alone.”
I mutter half-sinking: Hated the hills
growing up, hate bucolic living even today.
Author Bio: Sweta Srivastava Vikram (www.swetavikram.com) is an award-winning writer, poet, novelist, author, essayist, educator, and blogger whose musings have translated into three chapbooks of poetry, two collaborative collections of poetry, a novel, a nonfiction book of prose and poems (upcoming in 2012), and a full-length collection of poems (upcoming in 2013). Her scribbles have also appeared in several anthologies, literary journals, and online publications across six countries in three continents. Sweta has won two Pushcart Prize nominations, an International Poetry Award, Best of the Net Nomination, Nomination for Asian American Members’ Choice Awards 2011, writing fellowships, and was short listed for the Independent Literary Awards. Taj Mahal Review describes her as “A poet with hauntingly beautiful talent.” Sweta has held several artist residencies in Europe and America and worked on collaborative projects with artists from Zimbabwe and Australia. A graduate of Columbia University, she reads her work, teaches creative writing workshops, and gives talks at universities and schools across the globe. Sweta lives in New York City with her husband. You can follow her on Twitter (@ssvik) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Words.By.Sweta).