An Album of Legs

-Manushya Puthiran

I am making an Album
An album of legs

Albums are meant
Always for faces, or what?

I knew for certain
For the eight span physique
Leg is primal

Legs descending in stairs
Legs in dance
Legs reaching to kick
Balls or humans

Legs rushing in crowd
Legs at worship
Serpent legs-
Entwined in courtship

Dark, pale, reddish,
Hairy, shiny, legs
Legs -in confusing colours

Legs moving in mud
Tender toddling legs
Legs that spanned the world
Legs that awoke Agalya
Legs of a Chinese
-that walked a longest journey

Legs of fissured feet
Legs, sparkling with a toe ring
Legs with six toes
Long legs of a woman
With a damaged toe nail
Who is dear to me

Legs – jumping running and leaping
Legs – at various styles of walking
(none walks like the other)
Legs, tapping tunes
Swimming, climbing legs
Legs wandering in grass
Fleeing and marching legs
(Soldiers’ legs are not real)

Legs, nearing their beloved
Legs crushing cigarettes
Legs returning from burial
Legs with cuffs
Legs with tied toes
Legs getting ready
Legs kicking bikes
Legs standing in line
Legs shaking on the sewing machine

Legs with wrinkles
Bulged nerves
Legs – eaten by itches
decayed in leprous
Legs, tempting to kiss

Whomever I see
I see their legs
I will paste all the legs
In my album of legs

Will keep them hidden
under the box
Far from strangers’ sight –
My polio legs alone.

(Translated by Venugopal Thayanithy)

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