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The Cow
stands in the middle of the road.
From between her horns
the waxing crescent
shines with the softness
of the early morning sun.
The cow
stands in the middle of the road.
The crowds on both sides
jostle to move her out of the way.
The cow stands in silence.
In her eyes
I can see a tulsi-pot, its sides smeared with dark geru.  
People with sticks
and people with grass
circumambulate the cow.
The cow stands
at the centre of this chaos
while lorries, trucks, scooters and cars
choke the entire road
with their traffic of fumes.

The moon between the cow’s horns
has turned all smoky.  
The police van arrives, sirens blaring.
People disperse.
The cow doesn’t budge an inch.
The policemen blow their whistles.
They rain blows.
From the welts on the cow’s back
gush a series of springs.
In their waters, I see reflected, broken chunks of the sky
bobbing away like boats.
On the black tar road
the cow stands in complete silence.

All roads have now been closed.

A truck with a crane lifts the cow.
I see the legs of the cow thrash in the air
and toss lightning-bolts.
The truck leaves, carrying the cow.
On the rain-struck road
in the middle of all the commotion
caused by whistles and horns
I stand in the dry space
where the cow once stood

and begin walking.

I come home and take my boots off.
In the webbed space between my toes
I see the smoky crescent.
And standing in it,
silently,
is the cow.