If I were a country, you would be a journalistAnd because you are not anempty-headed bloke out for a quick fixbut investigative, committed, idealist,I would have shot you down a streetand left you to bleed.
If I were a country and you my journalistit would be a civil war, one too many,revolutions—changes in governments.I would have jailed youand kept you on CCTV.
If I were a country and you my journalistI would have played a wait-and-watch gameto see who wears the othersleep-deprived akin to a Russian sleep experiment.
But the more you stare, the more beautiful someone becomes, remember?
Many passed the cellars of my mindfew, the cellars of my heart.
I would blink first.
I would give infrom dictatorship to democracy.
If I were a country and you my journalistI would let you run a free press and media
to change the face of anentire nation. [End Page 12]
Fictionist, poet, critic, curator, editor, translator, screenwriter Rochelle Potkar’s book of haibun, Paper Asylum was shortlisted at the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2020. Her poetry film Skirt features on Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland. Bombay Hangovers is her recent collection of 16 short stories across caste, class, and religion in Mumbai. rochellepotkar.com