Karma Chameleon
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Karma Chameleon - a poem by Rajiv Lather

We sit in a dark secluded corner.
Carpet is so deep that the
silent appearance of maître d'hôtel
catches us red handed.

There’s a soft murmur in the room,
decibel level carefully controlled
by a la carte(l).
It is stuffy, heating working overtime,
having never heard about global warming.

Having dealt with wine and hors d‘oeuvres,
we tackle the main course.
With perfect etiquette, I eat
tiny bits of terribly expensive trash,
nodding my approval.

A fat roll of notes stuffed in my small wallet
makes me squirm in my plush chair.
I smile and pay attention for a while.
(Quite difficult, when something is butting against your butt)
The last scrap of tonight’s special survives.
With a frantic lunge I stab the thing with my fork
(Now I know why they use forks, difficult to kill with fingers)
and shove it inside my mouth.

Lurking inside my innards,
a small area of high-pressure disturbance
wants a release one way or the other.
Top or bottom that’s the million-dollar question,
to make matters worse this is a no smoking zone.

Multitasking is not my forte,
yet I try to swallow
while making polite conversation.
In the confusion, the captive makes an olfactory escape,
and the food goes down the wrong chute.
I suddenly realize I cant breathe.
(choking maybe?)

Clutching my throat I commence to cough,
I cough from the very essence of my being
till I clear away the suffocating airs
and the sticky bit of tonight’s special
makes a perfect landing in her plate (still alive).

Devoid of oxygen for too long,
I open my mouth wide,
(or wide mouth – this is subjective)
gums and gullet visible to all,
and with a gasping sound that would
make the whooping cranes cringe,
I gulp in air, lots and lots of it,
(Along with disapproving stares and a few residual pheromones)
straight into the lungs.
(Think I bypassed the usual plumbing)

Not used to working hard, lungs swell,
depressing the diaphragm distending the belly.
The posture slumps and my face lurches from
deathly blue to sickly yellow to wriggly red.

Not a pretty sight, but then I had my eyes shut tight.
(As I took the center stage don’t ask what happened to my date)

Copyright © Rajiv Lather 2003

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