My India | Margaux Delotte-Bennett

my india

Photo credit: Shuba Raveendran

my India is filled with the unique and familiar
unthought-of shapes and realities
colours still to be created
thrust upon backs and ‘round hips

my India tastes of every part of the coconut
water, young flesh, mature flesh, oil and husk
it is the faint smell of jackfruit cleaned with the morning’s newspaper
dosas wrapped in the afternoon times
medicines packed in envelopes made from discarded magazine leaves
there is no waste here
things just turn to dust
after they have been used and reused
before the garbage pickers recycle them one last time
into rupees to feed their flock

my India is of the south
where things are darker
faces and arms
the rich earth
the streets at night
the trains by day

my India is of the south
where things are rounder
faces, bellies, bosoms and butts
traffic circles
2, 3, 4 and more wheeled vehicles
that turn and stop
turn and stop
while circuitously touring ‘round the city
which has no centre

my India, indeed
I claim her as my own
not because she can be possessed
but because I see me in her and her in me
as I sway with the rhythm of the bus
sway with the turn of the auto driver’s wheel
sway with the smoke rising from the dhaba’s grill

my India feeds my body and my soul
clothes me in rainbows and dust
chills me with sights while I sweat
and welcomes me home
as it becomes clearer each day
that I will never
blend in

margaux delotte-bennett is a Washington, DC based poet, songwriter and performer. As an active member of The Saartjie Project theater company and a Board member of the Young Women’s Drumming Empowerment Project, margaux links her art with community engagement and activism.  Her poetry has been featured in the anthologies Liberated Muse Volume 1: How I Freed my Soul and 2011 NaPoWriMo Poetry Anthology as well as the magazines Divided City and Success & Ability.  In 2009 margaux premiered her one-woman show Black & Kinky Amongst Brown Waves that included the poem “girl child” which won second place in the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ 27th Annual Larry Neal Writers’ Award.  Black & Kinky went on to have 2 successful runs at the 2010 Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC and at WOW Cafe Theater in New York City. margaux also has a self published poetry chapbook for sale entitled “living, learning , loving” and a blog at on which she posts a new poem each week.

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