the English language does not make sense to you
but you like this word, for it means what it says.
waves rise precipitously, tremble
under the weight of their own ambition.
like the heads of wheat stalks
scrounging for their pride as the spring wind
assaults them, a warning to yield
before the monsoon beats them relentlessly down
drop by hot drop.
Are they fallen, or do they succumb?
Is there a word in English for this?


In this land of four seasons
where you still fume at the concept of freezing rain
the bangles on your wrists succumb to
the violent embrace of your palms —
You bought them yourself
grasping for self-respect
when your mother refused to gift
the heirlooms
when she refused to acknowledge
your bare and expectant arms
and the turban atop your beloved’s head.
Neither did the men who —
with mechanical glee still being digested
by the bile rising in your throat —
usurped his inheritance
a grandfather’s dagger
that rested in dignified silence on the left hip
and drove it into his chest.

If your mother had gifted those gold bangles
you could have melted them in the fire of your burning home
and sold the cooled slab of security
for a plane ticket.


Had the shards, dropped from your open window
at dusk
been glass
instead of friendship
you would have met with a bloodied lawsuit.
Later this will become a joke
(who did you think you were, a Hindu widow?
quick, recite the kalimat)
but the first time you say nothing
your faith has been questioned enough for one life.

You miss warm rain infused with smog
the way you feel unclean afterwards
as if, in the sticky heat
you’ve committed a sin.
There is no word for this in English, you know.
Nor in your language.
Not one allowed for your usage.

In time you will laugh
and he will tell you he once loved a man
who threw him out of a window
and you will both marvel
that someone deemed your lives
valuable enough to shatter.

is not bone
crunching as it hits the mud
pining to be enveloped in its depths
wrapped like a surprise gift in brown ribbon
“fragile” scrawled on the side as an afterthought

It is easier to break
more difficult to dispose of
and if buried like a dismembered corpse
it will spoil the next season’s harvest.