Hunchback of the World Trade Centre
Myself, Mondo Qasim. Address Tower One,
denizen since 1978. Formerly Mass’oud al Qasimi,
of country I not naming. How I come here?
Same as you, on raft from Quba Junction.
I dress uniform, many numbers and colours
with photo batches. And hump on my bump,
shape like Liberty Bell. Is batch of honour,
so ‘Smrelda on 1/87 tell me. Also Korea Kim,
medic on 1/64, she say don’t worry,
you don’t need no steenking batches.
I freewheeler in One. Not wanted as much
in Two, but as I like, I comes, I goes.
Sleeping on Top minus 3 floors in One.
Waking with sunrise, pointing bottoms to Phoebus
praying five times daily for blessings
to mother Marica. Sweet land of Statue of Liberty,
country of free, home of Twin Tower.
Each morning, I look through pointy arches
at objects in sky making motion like Calder mobile.
My desire fly. Is it bird, I aks. Is it plane?
Here, I supreme (after 11 pm)
I monitor lightings. Oversee parkings,
also count trains going in and out of bottoms.
Here, very good, very warm in NY cold.
Soft carpetings like pashmina, remind me of mudder
who I sends dola on regular basis. I makes many dola
gophering, minding store, fetching coffees.
Much preciated, Mondo, you say, thank you kindly.
Hoot Mon, say Mcivery on 2/36. Mansion not,
I say as taught. Dutifully, by GI Frollo of G. I. church
in earlier life. RC Fadder in battle gear teach Marican,
also Cobol and Unix systems. Give me CocoCola,
read for me from Superman book. By this I know
Marican falsafa much same as five daily prayers.
Now I squatting kerbside;
One and Two becoming powder.
I sitting whiteface, coughing
like tuberculotic, lung full of gypsum talc,
with paper, paper like tickytape parade,
like I hero contemplating kismet.
Haid ringing and ringing, until posse
in blue uniform telling me loudly to put
between laigs. Haid between laigs.
Why, I aks. KYAG, ya fuckin gargoyle,
he say, and exit, pursued by white cloud.
I know better, I just wait
for Caped Crusader to come,
make all this again OK.
I speak troot. I seek jushtish.
I have lived the Marican way.
Tower One my house. One and Two my country,
why they take my home away?
This poem was written in February 2003.
(c) 2012, Mustansir Dalvi, all rights reserved.