In Kerala, there are no boats,
no palms, drupes, canals or streams —
only those who build and tether
their faith in kettuvallam dreams.
My hands are anchors: I smother
turmeric on sacred snake groves.
Come, Nagaraja. Come, Vishnu—
and station in her craggy coves.
I pray softly, something like this:
Preserve her dreamers, the tired
hulls and keels that keep them afloat.
Architecture is dead: are we
vessels drifting, worn to devote?
I catch perch in my net, sell it
to vendors from Haryana.
Frugally, I still sit and eat —
Om Namo Narayanaya.