What I Learned From Bollywood

person hand standing Photo by Yogendra Singh on Pexels.com

i do not speak hindi, have never been to india.
i have no third eye but i know of a world where
the men are macho yet wear pearls and gold;
this colorful land is not famous for its pinkness.

still i am drawn. i want a handlebar mustache,
i want to wear a magenta sherwani, i want
to dance before the taj mahal. i want to dive
from the ghats of varanasi into the ashen ganges.

i dream i am saturated with the exuberant hues of
holi, floating chagall-like among the stupas,
riding a scooter through delhi’s loudness,
watching naan baking, sipping tea in darjeeling.

so i immerse myself in the movies of bollywood,
where the women are stunning in their sarees,
the men are magnetic-sexy, but the kisses are chaste;
where courtesans and soldiers skillfully intrigue.

they fight and then stage-dance. bollywood is
midwife to the rebirth of 1940s mgm, but epic,
with death-knives, drums and sitars. if you
seek ben hur or spartacus you must go to mumbai.

but one film captures what we have lost between
men in america: the purest friendship kiss. the
rescuer blesses the friend he saved from suicide,
and places a piece of cake into his mouth.

it is a moment as tender as the bride and groom
in the wedding scene in gandhi. true friendship
saves every part of them both soul and body.
this is bollywood. more.

this is the salvation we can give to each other.
this is what mumbai  has that we have lost.
why must i go to the other side of the world
to see what love is?

Brian Yapko is a lawyer whose poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Gyroscope, Marathon Lit. Review, Grand Little Things, Society of Classical Poets, Poetica, Chained Muse, Garfield Lake Review, Tempered Runes Press, Auroras and Blossoms, Showbear Family Circus, Sparks of Calliope, Iris Lit. Journal, Rainbow Poems, Parliament Lit. Journal, Light Poems, Apricity and Abstract Elephant. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his husband, Jerry, and their canine child, Bianca.

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Issue 13

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