By Aditya Shankar
Human Immortality Project (HIP)
Never pictured itself
beneath the dark skin of a Dalit,
sipping tea from a stained glass
that hung outside the restaurant.
As a microcosm of the conventional eye,
he stood there, alone, ignored,
separated from the gala inside.
The stray cat that dashed over the wall
won the loving glance of the lady.
Through the tube,
the world poured into that room
with news of war and blood.
A brand-new car on the street
kept the young man hooked.
A bagatelle heightened the
emptiness of paper light happiness.
Yet the rejoicing world
failed to notice that deserted man
like the far side of the moon.
The rope to which
his mug was tethered
felt like the chains of a slave.
His, a sip of survival, a sip bereft of taste.
The techno futurism of HIP saw
only those in the gala: maybe,
shame wasn’t worth prolonging.
Aditya Shankar is an Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.
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