Sujata Bhatt

The Doors Are Always Open

Everywhere you turn there are goats,
some black and lumpy.
Others, with oily mushroom-soft hair,
sticky yellow in Muslim sand
shaded by the mosque.
Next door
there’s a kerosene smeared kitchen.
We share a window
with the woman who lives with goats.
Now she unwraps some cheese
now she beats and kneads
a little boy       and screams
“Idiot! Don’t you tease that pregnant goat again!”
I look away: outside
the rooster runs away
from his dangling sliced head
while the pregnant goat lies with mourning hens.
Her bleating consolations
make the children spill
cheesy milk and run outside.
Wet soccer ball bubbles roll out
from a hole beneath the lifted tail.
The kid licks her kids free,
pushing, pushing
until they all wobble about.
We’ve counted five.
Hopping up and down, we push each other
until we see
the goat pushing her kids
to stand up, until
mothers call us back
                          to thick milk.