London

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Through a slight drizzle

on the side panes

of a speeding taxi in black,

I saw you for the first time

my pretty lady in a sun hat:

Of you I had dreamt for long

from images formed in my mind,

out of the second-hand novels I’d read —

clutching which over my Indian heart

I fell asleep feverishly, every night.

 

Tall over the sidewalks

you seductively strolled along —

the soft sun bouncing off

fresh flowers you hold on wooden posts: 

As if it’s your slender, elegant frame

hoisting a classic basket hat.

You carried the enchanting fragrant beauty

of a summer garden of violet and thyme —

dancing lithely in the cool breeze

fresh and sublime.

 

It was through sparse early evening traffic

from Heathrow airport, one late June:

I first glanced upon you awestruck

my lady — London, the city of my dreams.

Then in a week, I was besotted by your charm —

you’re prettier than images I’d conjured

for years in my abject poverty lying awake

wrapped in your elegant arms:

dreaming of visiting you fervently

when someday I had money saved up.

 

The Indian cab driver cheerily pointed

sights en route to King’s Cross —

where I’d reserved a week’s Bed & Breakfast

across the road from the tube station:

also by bus or foot to easily get around.

I took a tube to the London Eye —

to get an eyeful aerial view,

a boat below the Bridge to the Towers, Greenwich.

Atop a Hop-On Hoff-Off Bus I rode daylong:

lustily stripping you my lady — on the catwalk.

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