(for Vaskar)

My lover showed me a photograph
of a petite lady in brown gerogette sari
She had his cheeks
-- His mother

She sent me home-made preserve:
Bamboo and olive
She sent me tea and headgear from Nepal
She entrusted to me her son, Vaskar


Vaskar's girl is now my daughter
Is there no out of blood relationships
Charmed circles

She is big boned as the mother is small
She is swarthy as the mother is fair
She is a tomboy as the mother is, well, Mother

This is how my lover found an out
        from blood relationships


I prayed to the Great Mother once
I asked her to send me one of her Bhaktas
        Just one

She sent me Vaskar!
He came sprouting poetry
I grew wings        I flew        I became little mother

Then why do I weep
As I write this on this very rainy morning?


My mother's face glows through these lines
The same glow Vaskar finds in my face
Mother is a young woman again in my memory
I reach up to her navel
And she lets me nestle
Breathing in her fresh scent as in boyhood


This is the most difficult poem I've ever written:

Vaskar throws up his legs in bed
And tugs me by my neck towards him
Closer and closer and closer

My mother has thrown away her crutches
A young girl now she has thrown away her clothes
And she makes love to my father, a young man, in my bed

Vaskar smiles the smile of my father
A smile father smiled so rarely as the years wore on

And I am my father
Making love to Vaskar, my son, in my own bed


And now my tears
Have turned the monsoon
I weep I weep I weep bitterly
Bitterly for Vaskar
        And for my lonely self

I weep for all the errant truant sons of the world
Who are alive only by the mercy raining from the eyes
        of the Great Mother.

Forgive, forgive!

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