• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 07
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This, right here

yes, here,
beneath the magnifier,
in sepia,
is their small life —
a mishmash of pots,
facsimiles the husbands get
from local fairs
once a year.
This small life, small grief,
small joy,
tempered in mustard oil
with a dash of paprika,
is gentle hope,
is gentle pain too
of confessions
round the dark cavern of the cauldron,
of testimonies
like a whole sea
when the bowl is cupped to the ear —
its small silver abyss,
a confused hubbub
of many a sigh, a sob, a tired gasp.
But in this small space
the women keep humming,


This, right here

when husbands leave for work,
tied to the free end of their saree
a gentle hope,
a warm longing to hear
a small sea surge,
someday when they cup a bowl to their ears, a pot, a jar,
a small sea swell with a narrow hum of a song,
a dim tint of a flower.