Naipaul said: To be a writer, that noble thing,
I felt I had to leave.
Actually to write, I had to return.
Tracing shadows, inking them real...
I know not why we go
until homes are the milestones,
in the solstice and eclipse
waxing and waning, of self.
Memory as color, memory as sound;
as a tabla beat of the heart
echoing through music in moist gymnasiums -
the conchshell sound of the evening sky
morph to honking geese
in lavender skies with an autumnal chill.
It is all this, but not only this -
sometimes a mongrel breed living half a life,
sometimes pickled, sometimes preserved.
The palimpsest of exile is an afflicted volume
pages filled with erasures,
silverfish slivering sentences, sui generis.