Anju Kanwar
Wax Man

Fat pigeons congregate early in anticipation like tourists in
transit looking for adventure and blue skies. Before that sunlit
square, a flash mob drew me towards the morning shade of a
cold plate glass front where a sliver of white lay crumpled
under a striped awning. Legs drooping — attenuated angry birds
in flightless mode, fingers feathering raw over a placard airfoil,
his gaunt face hung over that paper board cliff seeking god.

Who knew dreams can languish in cotton-wool spots in the
bluest of eyes?

Unveiled words blazed from mordant wick, patterning flames
breathing dragons about some bubbling hot wax tallow-melting
out of the museum. Grand masters all around were studying to
mould: heads twisted, hands braced, a shower of coins littering
the pavement with kindness and fear.

Thirty years gone, in some early morning December chill,
sunshine feels like a knife cutting. Those eyes slit open, silent
witness in the broken honeyed cast of a man marked by scars
we usually hide.