Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rebirth in Varanasi

I am writing this from a fly ridden, dusty café just above the Asi Ghat in the cool enclave of wooden shudder and ancient stone. I am barefoot at a table sipping yak milk coffee, my pants hanging to dry over the chair having just swam in the Ganges at Varanasi.
“The Children of Varanasi are the Children of my Dreams.”
Little muslim clover in white hat holding his father’s hand.
Tiny weed in the market balancing a tea tray on her head.
Three sweet lollipops in plaid skirt uniforms riding in the back of a horse drawn school cart.
Brown naked muskrat in the gypsy slum bottom cheeks powered in dust.
Leper mother in rags holding this pair of eyes staring back at her sucking milk from a bottle.
Precious pile of flowers in orange robe selling prayer candles on the canoe.
Scary set of eyes, nose, and grinning teeth coming out of the water like a baby alligator. Bite!
Barefoot lemon tart in a summer dress standing knee deep in trash while her father rummages with bare hands for treasures.
Little plastic bag floating in the wind, all smiles as she stands in the shuddered doorway pulling a monkey’s leash.
Sometimes I wish for a son of my own.
A boy would have come with me on this trip to India. Xi’an is maybe a year away,
And then she and I will scour this earth for adventure until Rebekah is old enough to join.
But a boy? To a father, a son?
People always ask me if I wanted a son, a little cup to pour all my secrets into.
Well, nevermind.
I live out my fantasies in the eyes of my daughters, and the boyish heart of my own.

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