Poem | Pardeep Singh Balyan


I won't even
Button my sleeves
To impress you,
Or pretend not to
Be looking at your
Breasts, when
You lean forward.

The girl at the visa agency
Says I am high risk
Because I am single
Punjabi, and broke,
And only Sumi
Can help do
The needful.

Amrika, Sumi says
It all comes down
To the immigration interview,
And to wear the green shirt,
And to mention that my
Brother-in-law is a doctor
From Atlanta.

But Amrika,
You know
I'll show off
My ink
And my tracks,
And deliberately
Wear my kirpan;

I always do,
When forced to
Walk thru
Metal detectors.

I won't lie
About how much money
Is in my account
Or pay another Balyan
For a copy of his statement,
Just to get a visa.
But Ma'am Amrika,
Be informed that Dilbagh Singh,
Of F Block, Malviya Nagar,
Owes me 1200 rupees.

It's like this:
I can't go twelve hours
Without scoring;
Inside a day,
The dealers of Georgia
Will know my number,
And say,
My man, Balyaaan.

Sumi pretends
Her little brother
Is not a
Jalandhar junkie
Of the first rank,
And that one day
I will be a professor
Of creative writing.
But Ma'am Amrika,
My essay on Rabbi Shergill
And Frank O'Hara
Went nowhere.

I'm telling you;
Besides my sister,
The only thing you've got,
That I need,
I have already.

So I'll wait until
Sumi visits again,
And pocket
The visa application fee.

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