Flight to India

by Pia Taavila

Above the Mediterranean,
toward the Arabian Sea,
through low banks of clouds,
the sun sets in the west;
its long rays stretch,
fingers of fading light.

From Istanbul to Bombay,
the wails of mullahs rise:
tambourines and tablas,
the imam’s eerie cry.

Women in flowing robes,
secret jewels, veiled eyes flashing.
Orchids in the Agra, tangerines,
pomegranates, dates and figs,
goats’ heads, severed.
I’m lost and drowning.

A bony finger points the way
to yearning’s cobbled path:
the petals and the peasant,
patchouli and myrrh,
dung and marigold,
jasmine bowers.

Beloved, I shall return to tell you these things.