• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 10
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The popular narrative:     you rescued me
from the ocean’s churn. Though I’ve always told
my own version.     How many eons later? Now
every goddess saves herself.     Here, where we’re not

earth queen and mighty boar.     Today your eyes
say you’re afraid to be sick. The sun, so angry.
There are only a few tales     fated to be retold
in a million different ways, even my rendition

of our elsewhere chronicle. There’s also
this afterstory:     here, you pass by the house
every day and we don’t speak;     until one day, the earth
reels in the heat and you look faint;     and here

where I, Bhumi from another time, have no miracles
to perform     I let you inside my lotus pond
and only your snout takes the air;     later, as Surya
sinks into the horizon, I set a meal before you –

two pounds of barley cooked with peas and sorrel
leaves; I add chunks of lotus stem fried in ghee
remembering how you loved the extra crunch; and finally,
on top, pink petals from the calm-inducing flower.