There was nothing simple about it
even then --

an eleven-year-old’s hunger
for the wet perfection

of the Alhambra, the musky torsos
of football stars, ancient Egypt and Jacques Cousteau’s

lurching empires of the sea, bazaars
in Mughal India, the sacred plunge

into a Cadbury’s Five Star bar, Kanchenjanga, kisses bluer
than the Adriatic, honeystain of sunlight

on temple wall, a moon-lathered Parthenon, draught
of northern air in Scottish castles. The child god craving

to pop a universe
into one’s mouth.   

It’s back again,
the lust
that is the deepest
I have known,

celebrated by paperback romances
in station bookstalls, by poets in the dungeons
of Toledo, by bards crooning foreverness
and gut-thump on FM radio
in Bombay traffic jams -

an undoing,
an unmaking,
raw -

a monsoonal ferocity
of need.