Skies boil over, lash
of wind against the will
of slim trees that curve, Apsaras
in arabesque, sent from Indra’s
heavens to tempt us from our duties
Slanting sheets mud scents
paints pant-bottoms and hems
of sarees draggle wet and heavy
Rickshaw-pullers slip and strain lean muscle
against ribcage in streets with no drainage
Come, lay down your arms
before the sweet adventure of a storm
boil chai, fry potatoes
gather round a hurricane lantern
tell stories of family ghosts who return
in forked flashes from the skies
Season of Cinder
A neighbor has been cheating
on his wife. He’s very sorry
that he’ll have to explain
his actions to his teenaged daughter.
In another part of the world,
an uncle dies. And the next day
a cousin’s heart caves in.
Three more friends bereft
of their fathers, compounding
losses, not enough
fingers on all of our hands to count them.
Eyes smart from burning pyres,
this season of fierce blossoms.
The thick-tongued air, grief-salted, wonders
when monsoon will arrive to break
the bones of this pitiless sky
Yamini Pathak is the author of the chapbooks, Atlas of Lost Places (Milk and Cake Press) and Breath Fire Water Song (Ghost City Press). Her poetry and non-fiction have appeared in Jaggery, Waxwing, Kenyon Review blog, Voicemail Poems and other places. She is an MFA candidate at Antioch University, LA.