Walking in the predawn, syncopal / heat we revert to the guttural old / tongue.
Walking in the predawn, syncopal
heat we revert to the guttural old
tongue. Though I am days late,
Holi powder spatters the gravel,
a remnant of the mid-street pyre
yet burns for God. So I am still
your little sister. When we return,
Periappa drums his rheumatic,
notched fingers on collarbone, on
sternum, to remember each Sanskritic
verse, and you help me find an offering.
I did not know I came so empty-handed.
Veshti tied white at his waist, vermillion
border a rising sun, he sets afloat hibiscus
buds, their words unfurling in brassy water.