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A Singapore Dream

The airport was a knight
in shining armour
that took me by hand
to lead me into shapes
eyeing the sky.
The university gave me a room
a guest I was for a day or two
with vegetables steamed in salt
for dinner,
conferences confided in
halls air locked
to arrogance.

While leaning on lifts
or edging in fear on elevators
I saw tamils
and even keralites smile at me
Did they know I was one of them?
The engines sneezed
when traffic lights jaundiced in jealousy
(Here, traffic jams are a fable!)
and I in one moment of a nine to five
spinster act, swore to meet him
grinning idiotically at my professor.

I breathed in the pollen,
smiled at the lion
that did not have white teeth
like me, danced with my shadows
at the puppet theater,
made tea and coffee
as a volunteer
for the residents of one room apartments
who did not know
how it is to starve on the streets
loosened the strings of my purse
at the sale,
collected coins that bore the snake
Did not sleep even for a night
looking out of the window
to catch a glimpse
of the stranger
I had only seen in pictures,
tip toeing back through the Changi
I checked by the glossy doors,
waking to mom's morning call!

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