Forty-Something Years in Ninaland

Last Christmas I gave you my Heart


For George Michael RIP


I wipe the hot curry from my lips

as I think about my American comrades

with their ham and potatoes.


Merry Desi Christmas…

there will be puree aloo

for lunch, along with a special kheer.


No tree, just us sitting

with our uncles who wear turbans

and kids who play with their white Barbie dolls.


We don’t sing Christmas Carols

we watch old Hindi films,

black and white movies with brown people


Then for a moment between laughs

and chai and some biscuits,

I forget it is Christmas.


Then I look at the newspaper

and there it is: he is dead.

My favorite singer from the eighties.


Who will die next, god?

I want to lie in a black dress

as I cry, but I have nowhere to go.


I think today, today I think this:

He would sing me to sleep if he could.

Lullabies about fame and death…


He had faith, in you, Faith, Faith

and he will always be your Father Figure.

He woke us up before he had to go, go.


I will sing for you because he cannot sing anymore.

These are the small words I know.

This is my song:


If I knew you

I would tell you this

many times over and over again.


This Christmas I hope you get the girl

or the guy

I hope you dance, with the guy.


I hope you live, really breathe

in and look at the colors

I hope you see every color but your own.


I wish you kisses

And water every time you are thirsty

I wish you music.


I hope you sing

When it rains I hope you get wet.

I hope you cry.


I wish you tears

of love and I wish you

would cry when you laugh.


I hope you laugh

and notice the sweetness

in your own voice.


I wish you friendship

and I wish you would reveal yourself

every time you are betrayed…


I hope you know you are allowed to be afraid

allowed to pray

even if god is ugly.


I wish you would remember

this winter is for you

and summer is inside you.


I wish you the courage to say

what you need to say

and say it with all you have.


I hope your worries

become miniature jewels

that you wear like medals.


You’ve won this one

I hope you know you won this Christmas

I wish you all this again and again…


I hope you have time

to wish to be, and to be free

I hope this is your day.


Praying for Time
Do you think we have time?
Do you think we have time?
These are the days of the open hand
They will not be the last
Look around now
These are the days of the beggars and the choosers
This is the year of the hungry man
Whose place is in the past
Hand in hand with ignorance
And legitimate excuses
The rich declare themselves poor
And most of us are not sure
If we have too much
But we’ll taking our chance to say
I sang twenty years and a day
But nothing changed
The human race found some other guy
And walked into the flame
And it’s hard to love, there’s so much to hate
Hanging on to hope
When there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it’s much too late
Well maybe we should all be praying for time
Doo oh oh
Do you think we have time?
Do you
Do you…


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