8. Februar 2008

Ranjit Hoskote: Coronation

They set you on a high chair, the masseurs hands, then wrapped your shoulders in a white burnoose, tucked it under your chin, then, jug upraised, spoke blessings of water, anointed your scalp.

Soap-scented, those baptismal palms were soft, so soft that hawks would fear to cross their blinding will: they closed fast around the eyes, caressing but chill.

For the first time, boy-king, blinking through tears, you stared at walls that multiplied your gaze
as a rim of tawny curls crested the scissors jabbing V and quick brooms swept it as it fell to the floors of four mirrors.

You walked through the glass door towards yourself many times after, stride longer each time and your hair grown darker beneath the sun of alath-and-plaster country slumped in eclipse this waterfront where your marooned ancestors had never meant to drop anchor, in the first place.


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