The submissions deadline is Friday, February 17, 2023.
my breath heavy
anchoring my legs into
dirt paving boundless streets
heat echoing off my
tanned, blistered skin and
every tin shack
held together with clay and the sweat
it reads “खुला 24/7” [open 24/7]
to the langurs falling from trees.
i keep walking
steering through murdered mangoes’ guts
strewn shamelessly on defaced soil.
tires stained orange
like the setting sun
i hope for.
“coconut water! coconut water!”
i hear a seller announce, his voice echoing
my throat guides me to the stand.
“twenty rupees. twenty only.”
i hand him a bill.
he beheads the coconut
and i take it in my palms as it
bleeds onto my arms,
i open my mouth and feel a flood
of awakening revival.
my vision becomes clear.
i hear the clacking of cow hooves,
the ruffle of saris scraping the floor,
the jingle of bangles forever tied to wrists.
i remember i am in agra,
the markets of india,
and i am at ease.