Ode to the Squat Toilet

by Pushkar Sharma

I remove my jeans,

and bend my knees;

these actions practiced,

this tango at ease.

No toilet seat, no lift,

no piss touch my hand;

no rigor, you figure,

this plan for all the land.

But West travels far

North, South, and East,

and the toilet bowl has risen

like fine-porcelain yeast.

A tank, a flush

proliferating rife.

A toilet bowling away

a way of life

And though I'm biased

I must be a realist

the fecal wars are being won

by a shitty Imperialist.

But this is an ode,

the punch line, I'm going to spoil it:

everything needs love

even the squat toilet.

When I first met you,

you seemed so crude,

never offering me a seat

so overtly rude.

So I'd crouch.

With my ass hanging there in the air

where the bowl would be.

My feet precariously close

to where the pee-pee would be:

I was uncomfortable and uncertain,

I'd feel lewd—

this was just savage and dirty

is what I'd conclude:

You were a mystery.

As time went on,

I tried to keep up my stiff defense.

But as I met you again and again

You always greeted me so kindly,

with your potty-mouthed opening,

that forever shit-eating grin,

your smooth curves asking for charity,

for anything I could give,

And I began to take to You.

As I met you wherever I traveled,

You were no longer a surprise guest

You were my best guide

a companion sharing those intimate moments

I'd previously tried to hide.

We became friends that shared, sang and sung.

You gave me your company,

I gave you my dung.

And slowly I realized that

my ass doesn't need a rough-papered rub

nor a soft-charmin scrub:

My ass needs a shower,

My bump needs a bath,

water sprinkling down

from a generous carafe.

Ah! the freshness

Oh! the crisp air

My ass so precious

Sleek and debonair;

Tracing my curves clean

the water's just right,

as I engage in the unseen

and wash instead of wipe.

So I continue a tradition

that pre-dates papyrus;

washing with my left hand,

the same movements

that have been practiced

since the colon's creation.

And now,

in a land of toilet bowls

I mourn my lost friend.

But know...

if I were in line for the loo

my insides pressing me to pee-pee or do-poo,

I wouldn't want a heated seat

Or a Japanese tune to make me discrete.

My feet planted wide

knees bent

saddled up to ride

deep breath exhaling with pride:

I'd not want to sit,

No, that would soil it,

forget the TP

give me my squat toilet.