His morning dawns by
hugging her slim body
kissing her between lines of newspaper
sipping her between tea turning hot to cold
until the toilet summons him
to contemplate on Mumbai life

Sometimes, despite Grandma's fit
he embraces her in the bathroom
graces her after lunch
before nap, at work, on bus
in park, before dinner, after dessert
past midnight
when sleep would run away
like he ran away at 16
from his father's farm
he would sit on the dark balcony
unwrap her, light a curl
and watch his dream fade away gas
like dying stars

I imagine . . . the affair started
when he was young
thought it was cool
statement of rebellion
to secretly buy her on dusty street corners
put her between his lips to drink her gray essence

Now he is old and addict
she is still young and blooming
tobacco freckle bones
dressed in tobacco leaf sari
Her name is Bidi
pimped by Charbhai
without filter, without shame

I have seen Charbhai's bungalow
cozied by the investment of lusty addicts

For five decades
Grandpa smoked her with pleasure
loved her with disgust
This year she smoked him to cancer
puffed him to ashes
and left his granddaughter
to document
his death.