Delhi: December Morning

Now the fog holds onto me,
like all those lecherours eyes did before .
I walk,
on slowly waking up roads,
I see,
dogs chasing an old man on a cycle,
and the distant sounds of women making rotis
in warm houses.
on a winter morning,
Six months living in it and the city has lost its bite.
I can
finally reach out and touch it,
and curl myself a little space.

Old red-brown buildings, stand up on their walking sticks
like old women, with so many stories pouring out of them.
People lived in them, people died, and new ones came,
and the red-brown buildings make way for shiny white
buildings in stiletto heels.
Shiny cars whisk by the rusting carcass of a car,
too mangled to recognize its make.
This air i breathe,
standing on a terrace-
did a graying Begum once breath too?

Sun fingers shine through fog on a sleeping mound of garbage
and I walk by.
This feels like a moment outside time-Delhi-
her past and her present overlap,
on a cold foggy morning, while she sleeps.

simplest you are , at winter dawn,
clothed in the Pashmina dust of time
that fades away the lattice of henna from your
chipped-stone hands.
So many layers, each painted as empires rose and fell
across your face.
I try to strip you naked.
Quick! show me your breasts, before everything wakes up around us
and new buildings start to rise.


Juney Thomas's picture

Juney Thomas is a post graduate student at the University of Delhi. She has been dabbling with free verse since high school. Her main area of academic interest is post-colonial feminist theory. She can be reached here: or at

Last updated September 19, 2011