Poetry / March 2017 (Issue 35)


Salaryman

by Abul Kalam Azad

Tall buildings
like ladders of raindrops
cursed by the sky
to never leave the earth

Trapped in that raindrop
he sits before a pale desk
dressed in freshly ironed
and crisply tucked-in clothes

a light gray shirt with no visible folds,
black trousers with a soft blue interior

A cloud with hidden memories
of the world that left him behind

toes dress their solitary wounds
with sweat inside polished shoes

Unheeding of the clock
that never stops ticking,
he works and works

A routine ,so deeply stitched,
that can't loosen the threads
without tearing the cloth

Night leaps into streets outside
almost unnoticed, like a distant relative
whose entry none awaits

Overworked bodies tumble in groups
out of brightly lit cubicles
inside rooms cleaned with conditions

Swiping cards of various hues,
he boards a train with red insides
holding onto a metal hanger with both his palms

Huddled chunks of dozing humans,
so close that one can smell the dreams
frozen in the other's eyes

He wiggles out
with lot of effort
a new book of poems
he bought with the money he saves

Verses with warm fingers
hold his drooping lids
in a spiral shaped like a sonnet

Moon waits patiently
for ways to slip through
the walls of enclosed trains

A voice nailed to the ceiling
announces the arrival of the destination,
the end of a silenced path

He gets out,
his eyes still drenched
in the syllables of a poem
yet to finish

A poem on love
elusive as the breeze
that haunts every storm

As he finishes it,
he gazes into the void before

He knows he missed his station
and the last train back

A man sitting by the shore of rainy tracks
with an umbrella spread out before,
full of cracks,
hums,

'Salaryman, Salaryman,
did you miss your station again?'

 
 Abul Kalam Azad is a poet of Indian origin currently working in Japan, the 'Land of the Rising Sun', gathering grey dots to trace the sinking moons.
 
Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2017
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.