Poetry: “Colombo” by Senie Priti

Morning. I eat rice and curry, so hot it brings tears to my eyes. This is Sri Lanka, I think. I take a tuktuk to the central station. Bustling. Colours and sounds and smells I don’t recognise. The light thick and smoky. And hot. So fucking hot. Everyone’s about the hustle. Cues in the street to buy raffle tickets. I take the foot bridge and wander in a direction. Any direction. It doesn’t matter. The point here, is to be lost, for a while anyway. I find a coconut vendor. He slices one open with his machete, clean and precise. Carves out thick chunks for me to eat. Fifteen cents. I buy another. Lunch is more curry. Wet eyed. I’ll get used to it soon I hope. I never do. I wander some more. A persistent tuktuk driver tries to give me a lift. Follows me street by street. His entitlement to something, I’m not sure what—women perhaps—scares me … five minutes, ten, fifteen … I find a retired Spanish tourist on a street corner and pretend he’s my father. We walk along the bay for a time. He tells me about his children. His life. At Beira Lake we part ways. Ducks everywhere. Their shit stinks. Nobody seems to care. I find a green spot and sit. Vivid skyline. Tangled labyrinth of moody streets. Lives. Moments. All things I will never know.

Senie Priti was born and raised in the sticks, about an hour and a half from Melbourne, Australia. She fell in love with performing as a kid, playing Viola in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. She is an up-and-coming actress, with several feature films forthcoming, and is in pre-production for her directorial debut, a short film she wrote, titled Alba. She is currently completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and Psychology.

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