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In the Wild West of the east

there are no cowboys anymore,

just Indians in-fighting

and horses that appear in the dark

from nowhere and lead you



The land is dry but yields

bright tangled flowers

soft yet defiant and solar powered—


no need to waste water

where the sun overflows


into every starved secret

that begs hard not to vanish

back to the caves of

gold and red betel nut mouths


spitting names not feathers


I hold a gun and they hold a bow,

or they hold a gun and I an arrow


or I a bow and gun

and they a gun and arrow


there is no crossfire

without a bomb.


© Sujatha Menon 2022

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