I am getting old, naked
Eyes cannot focus sharp.
I said, ‘Excuse me’ to a mannequin
That stood on the doorstep of a shop
And blushed to realize that I had talked
To a lifeless doll.
Strolling, alone, through busy streets
With full of clothes and jewelry shops
Ravenous, I peek at the ravishing
Papier-mâché or plastic or something else
Mannequins that man the entrances.
I like these new ones, what grace,
How lovely, live, how curvaceous are they!
That subtle lift of the breasts, tantalizing,
Teasing you, inside the scanty clothes,
Slim waists with a delicious hint
Of flat, smooth bellies and button.
One can always act as if
Appreciating the modern dresses
While swallowing, ogling hungrily
Wishing the dolls were real.
The mannequins, in their eternal youth
Don't look at you
But through you, to far away
As if looking in askance why
Life was not blown into them.
Strolling, aimless, through the busy streets
Full of clothes and jewelry shops
I look appreciatively at the young girls passing by
The foreign tourists scantily dressed
Their shimmering golden thighs
Heavy, full breasts and shapely behinds
All for a connoisseur to admire and enjoy.
They don't look at me, but look
Through me, glancing hither and thither
In search of life, pleasure and love.
Youth, for now, for now only, though it seems
Eternal to them.
I slink into the dark corner of a little shop
Lighting a cigarette, realizing that
for all I care,
The world could be full of mannequins only.
********* Balachandran V, Alappuzha, 25.11.2011