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When Nobody’s Watching (Haibun) Sneha Sundaram

She treads lightly as night falls, her feet gliding unheard. Her greasy hair with the frayed red bow swings soundlessly too, like it knows. The shanties in the distance shine like Christmas lights. Every beggar has now claimed his spot of Mumbai’s soil, sleeping with an eye open for both rats and errant drivers. Shama walks on, following the faint sound of raspy singing and raucous laughter. The street lamps bear silent testimony, casting long shadows, as she darts innocuously through the back streets of Mumbai. Winter fog I hide behind Your shadow  It’s 3 am and the loud party has just shut down. The paparazzi lie in wait for the scoop of the day. Shama watches, hidden, as the gaudily dressed celebrities drunkenly stumble out. Her disquiet broken by the loud rumbling of her stomach. The cook will come out anytime now, to throw the leftovers away.  Daily spoils of nightly opulent revelry. And when nobody’s watching, Shama will take it home. A king’s feast for her menagerie of eight:  Beggars, cats, dogs. Children of the night, strays all. In the lonely city of crowded dreams: her tribe, her modern family. Cold earth The pit of her stomach Glows warm again 

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Whirlwind #5  

Our one year anniversary issue. Poems, stories, art, and photography on poverty. The final section features Lamont Steptoe's archival photos...

Whirlwind #5  

Our one year anniversary issue. Poems, stories, art, and photography on poverty. The final section features Lamont Steptoe's archival photos...

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