Uncle Sam

Samuel Clemens had a boat
That chugged along the Mississippi
And foam along the bow
Leftover from minuscule waves
Spoke to him
Surrounding him with lives
Lots of lives,
The kinds that suffer and cry
Weep and moan
Laugh and jest
Steal and thief
But his ears were defective
They withheld some bits
Small tiny peeks
That his eyes, maybe, glanced over,

That foam, of course,
Did evaporate and rode different storms
Till it condensed one rainy June
On the banks of the Beas
Hissing about among other
Similar fragments of tourist molecules
That make the water
That cramps into pipes
Resides in drains
And is scribbled across
Retired gardens
Dusty sedans
And Rajasthani marble,
Only to sometimes
Refuse this treatment
And reach mobile purifiers
Riveted in working men’s hostels
With rusty screws and fungus for company,

And then there is me who,
Wet in this dreary rain
Frightened of invading allergies
And wicked bacteria
Fall victim to a vicious flu
That my head severed from my body
And my soul goes to sleep
As I clamber alone a staircase
Wandering the halls
With my kettle under my arms
And fill it up
And set it to heat
Boil in fact
And then like the shroud long ago
I cover my self and inhale
The invisible fumes
Running all over my face
Curdling my sweat
Into thick salt patches
As I breathe in and out

When, an old hymn
Begins playin
The lyrics sound old
But the voice is harsh
Not too pleasant,
But I can’t stop
The sound
As my lazy soul
Slowly opens its eyes,
Peeks at the lyrics,
And startles at the
Writhing in old voices,
Sounding almost ghostly,
As if the steam were haunting me,
With spirits hidden in it,

And, then the single molecule,
That ole’ Samuel missed
Began to perform,
Moving through the myriad other ghosts,
It went on whirlpools
Around my nose,
And gave me a scent,
Unknown to me,
It smelt of…
And a parting lullaby:
“Uncle Samuel, hidden beneath
Writes his treasure
On a crafty note,
But to find,
Will need solitary
Souls, far away
From bar and car,
Wine and dine,
In hassled onions
Will palate delight,
And thoughts
Will roam across,
Narrow halls,
So search, as you may,
But, I have found you,
And now I go!”