It happens one night that the hurdles champ

of Loyola, Class of ’58, finds himself on the lawns

of a gentleman’s club—shoulders stooped,

bandy-kneed, unable to hear or digest sugar.

It happens his wife dies first, and his children

frequently think, Hypothetically, if dad had gone

first, mum would still have had things to do.

It happens that the man who threw the best parties,

the first person in town with disco lights,

psychedelic shirts, the works—now finds it difficult

to smile. And as if to prove this unhappy man

once had the capacity to dance, the moon skids over

his spectacles, does a little jig on the wintry expanse

of his head, eclipsing for a moment this night,

these stars, all the borrowed future ahead.

Tishani Doshi is the author of The Pleasure Seekers.

Write to lounge@livemint.com

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