Injustice Like a Spider

To Pramudhya Ananta Tur,
after years in prison.

With a web wide as the world,
as wide as your life within the world,
its many eyes on you from birth to sleep
and sleep to birth again. Injustice
incomprehensible as the most
recondite philosophy and yet so simple
you could drown. Injustice, meeting
your satisfaction on the road, that rare
example of some green happiness,
eating the joy as she would eat a fly
and causing you to drop out of her
web as if a heart attack
were lifting up the floor.
Injustice, whole life through,
in-out, working that creeping
sadness to the bone. Injustice red
as the living blood in piles
of excrement lining all paths
to the latrines back at the prison.
Monstrous stupidity injustice is —
the worst of human sins. And yet,
your own, your lovely sweet injustice,
bone-marrow of your life’s survival,
pales like a little spider when meeting
adult spiders in too large a crowd.
She loses consciousness of pain, before
such great assemblies of the executed.

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