She arcs an aural eclipse. Last night, the ashes swallowed us whole; a stream of rajgold bangles parting the brahma ghat, throat full of pink salt, ghazals spilling over the ornate moon’s boheme venture.

I, milky meteors, trace your eye-lined courtyards slowly, ever so slowly.

To remember the dead orphan who once named djinns after cyclones. Her body still
lanterned by blue city phospherance, limbs soft as damp fishnets.

The day hides behind sadhu smoke, marigolding his gossamer drape onto a
fulgor-chested temple.

Let me anoint this country in your name. Your bewitching skin, moth-kissed mad with karmic revolution.

Memory settles on lotus chakra, craving the shrill of mosque windows in the
bird-riddled distance. I wear Urdu like a tear-shaped brooch pinned under purdah.

By the halo, women weave hot veins of banarasi brocade, filigreeing our bosoms
soothed by Himalayan dharamshalas.

Love was lithic. Mar and malice. An oleander garland holding out its prized tongue to Kali’s sweet black scream.

For straying the cosmos, this hunger where kites run a centuried sky map.