So hot you could drink your own piss,
like the Ayurvedics, but it wouldn’t slake
a thirst like this. I try to sleep, wrap myself
in wet towels, but they dry to a crisp.
Flies sip from my arms, from the wells
of my skin – all night mosquitoes
siphon my blood. Let them. Live and
let live. I have a bottle of frozen water
from the hotel fridge. I roll it over my face,
lick at its miserly mouth,
colder than crack. Dirty water
masquerading as fresh Himalayan spring.
As it melts you can see the wildlife swim.
I would swig from the Ganges
and happily die – though I’d live forever, they say.
Who cares, let me drink, and tomorrow
they can box me up and fly me back.
If I sleep, I dream of home, of the cool
green grass, the rain, the bones of my family
sunk in the heavy clay.
The drone of the generator wakes me,
the crusty towel, the girl next door puking.
I screw the top off my bottle of water,
warm now, pungent. I open my mouth and drink.