Counting Serendipity (Post-War Sri Lanka)

Fluttering Sri Lankan flag


Nearly 42 million eye-lanterns
Sharing 46 chromosomes
Walking past 100 different labels and signposts
Of brand names and street graffiti
21 million people sharing a 2500 year history
Playing the numbers game of fate’s odds
Where in 65610 square miles
There is enough room for four ethnicities
Tribesmen, native puritans and purana folk
Even the drifters and the displaced
With no heritage to call home

In this hodge-podge
Of haves and have-nots of identity
There is one hospitable place
An asylum where replicas of 206 bones
– In the asymmetry of two –
Collide in smile, in pidgin and in palm
Where you will find the maiden of peace
Splitting open her two thighs
To greet the pollen of father time
As they collude to impregnate
A child of 22 million – a little girl called freedom
Who can unite every armchair citizen

And in that boundless cosmos
Rests 1001 beautiful Serendib nights
As uncountable numbers of Adams and Eves
Defoliate their fig leaves
And jump on a million filaments of coir
Halving numbers while adding and multiplying love
Till a sudden drop from heaven
De-electrifies two soul mates
To the giddy aftermath of 70 burnt calories
Lighting constellations on irises
As the edges of lips part three inches – from ear to ear
Soaking up the afterglow
Of matter ferried across medium.


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