Ila Railkar poetry

Bow Down


It is when the boss asks you to snitch on lifelong friends.

Bow down. Gotta keep the job somehow.
It is when Little Johnny visits to demand ransom, dagger gleaming in the moonlight. Bow down. Just take the money and leave.
It is when you see the detective and Little Johnny, belly-laughs and back-slaps all around. Bow down. Settled out of court.
It is when they evict you from fifty year old homes, important leaders are visiting the city. Bow down. Beautification drive successful.
It is when you vote for them yet again. Bow down. Safe for a while now at least.
It is when you learn of your friend who got on their wrong side, never quite heard from again. Bow down. Who was he again?
They have medicines for those who do not bow. They are always bowing down then. From broken backs and shattered spines.
Cut out the tongue. Bow down.
It isn’t so bad. Bow down.
Anything may happen. Bow down
You’ll get used to it. Bow down.
I bow down. Above all I bow down to my cowardly silence.
I bow down, every moment, every day.




Close the eyes. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Cut out the tongue. Let it hurt, let it bleed.
Stitch the lips and pull the thread tight. Just in case.
Shackle the arms away from sight.
Smash the heart with the hammer of decency and morality.
And don’t forget to scatter the dangerous shards.
Cleanse the brain of those thoughts.
Fetter the feet too, else out they would reach.
Watch your back at all times.
Do not see. Do not breathe. Do not taste. Do not touch. Do not trust.
But those dangerous shards of the treacherous heart whisper
Even after all this time
I want. I want. I want. I want.


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