HOURGLASS

Besieged, mid-street,
by cross current and clamor,
a black stone Buddha

faces four ways. Taking refuge there
men wait for work.
Sweat streaked brows so near

to sindur
smeared foreheads,
that statue

and men seem to be
brothers
rapt in guarded

conversation.
As sand falls through an hourglass
I set on a windowsill

Kathmandu devours
itself. Pavement and store fronts
pile up at the feet of statue

and men,
pile up like up like a future
seen too late.

Doorways thronged,
back alleys stammering,
the valley’s

deep
fault
lines

shudder

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