City of Kites: Agra, India
I sit on the rooftop terrace, watch the fading daylight -
oppressive air polluted, thick gray clouding the burnt sky.
Through the haze, patches of color emerge and climb, kites
in ruby, indigo, pink. The summer breeze must be just right -
every child in the ancient city guiding tethered fabrics to fly
from countless apartment rooftops into the fading light.
A boy on the closest building, bold against the stained white
brick - he unfolds nylon, struggles with a knotted string, tries
to raise the toy to greet the colors of a thousand soaring kites.
He runs forward, propelling a worn yellow diamond into flight.
I follow the swinging shape, watch it mingle with others until I
strain to see beyond the rooftop as the sun sets into twilight.
I think of these children, wonder what flying these kites might
mean if they were the children begging at the Taj Mahal - my
few donated rupees could have bought these colorful kites
that fly above the city, above locals and tourists who fight
their way down dusty streets. A car horn blasts through dry
air. I leave the rooftop terrace as twilight gives way to night,
as darkness overwhelms colors in the maze of soaring kites.