Escaping Jaipur

a rickshaw boy
with torn trousers
stops for rapid repairs
I am surrounded by monkeys
one jumps clear over a goat
another tugs at my hair
a guide tells me follow
begging hands reach out
a bell softly rings
beside the temple gates
around spiraling corners
each one leading in
we enter a bustling square
the stalls are piled with olives
oranges, spices and dates
marigolds piled on tables
garlands strung in the air
the tea-wallah cries out his wares
a radio blares in the distance
clanging, clanging, clanging,
ringing the sun, beating down
it’s madness and radiant sound
the heat is stifling, whirling
pigeons fly up in the air
against the blue sky above
kites are spinning and diving
hidden in gathering crowds
I catch glimpses of gentler eyes
fixing me with a stare
two brown dogs lay in the shade
beneath a flowering neem
I no longer want to be there
I close my eyes,
i vanish,
into a starlit pool
and slowly float away

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