A Lesson in Papadums


The pimple, the tennis ball
The planet earth, the ascendency of spheres,
How from a full stop to planet Jupiter, 
There are ball-shaped sculptures
Everywhere you look.
From the miniature, to the giants.

While a single favorite of children
And adults alike, papadums,
Tell you that the world is divided,
Between the flat earthers,
Like those who cheer on Indian papadums,
The large flat ones that are served all around India,
And the ballooning-prone types,
Which are a household item in Sri Lanka.

How a delicacy unites two nations,
Bridged by a line of islands, called Adam’s Bridge,
The flats of India, to the inflatable types in Sri Lanka,
While scores of music emanate from
A crisp crunch of papadums.
How man and child make the same crispy noise,
Letting the teeth sink through a fried papadum.
How the Sri Lankan type is a planetary system,
A cosmos of inflated planets, while the Indian, has a less
Crispy crunch, being fragile and wafer thin.

How a school teacher takes a papadum in hand,
To explain to a class full of rug rats, a glowing satellite,
That appears at nightfall, sometimes
Playing peekaboo from beneath candy floss clouds.
How beautiful that a papadum, a full circle,
To innocent eyes of a star-gazing child,
Is an incarnation of a diviner,
A satellite far far away.

An untouchable, who gains shape,
Inside a utensil, filled with coconut oil,
Shaping a wonder, that stays
Next to a plate of rice and curry,
As an avatar of the moon.

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