Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Water from the sea
Must be as heavy
As the name
Of the person
You love
Have loved
Or the absence of love
It is both possibility
And impossibility
Like how sea water
That is cupped in the hands
Creates a sea in the hands
Washed of all weight
But still a world of water
In its own right

When Mother had me as a little lump of a girl she said I brought a burden that deserved all the trouble in the world. When I grew up and appeared in her doorstep one day, a duffel bag in one hand and a five-year old in the other, she said she does not deserve this. I do not deserve this. Hands wringing, she recited litanies and that my old room was heavy with cobwebs. What troubled me more was that she whispered something in her just dropped.

What would happen
If Atlas did shrug
And drop to his knees
Will there be more tremors
In the earth
In our bodies
In our lives
Weight of palms
On my face
You shrugged
And left
I guess Atlas
Could only do so much
The shoulders give in
The world is not only his

I remember being in the backyard and picked two guavas from the ground, stared at them on my six-year old palms. Mother stopped sweeping and explained they fall off their branches when they are overripe. I brushed one on my skirt and took a bite, its sweetness overwhelming. On the brows of the hills, beyond our house, the sun was setting. I believed that every day the sun gets overripe and falls off the sky, its seed growing to full form in the morning. I felt smart.

You offer a bouquet
Of yellow roses
So yellow the air
Around us ripen that
Borders on decay
It is my turn to shrug
A flower should be
Left alone
It has had enough
To water a field
To create a sea
For today a dew
Is all it could take
To carry

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