Apr/May 2018 Poetry

Two Poems

by Aditi Rao

Found: in ABQ – studio art jewelry by Jessica deGruyter

Found: in ABQ – studio art jewelry by Jessica deGruyter

Notes to Self

Remember this:
You are metal, not porous
but clanging. You are a loosening
and a tightening, a learning to close out.

You are rocks by the bay, the accustomed-
heaviness on your diaphragm.

You are the woman made of dust, shadow
in desert, blood and flesh growing slowly
around. You are neither eleven elbows

nor a flaming tongue. You are a rising from.
Dust turning clay turning form. You
are that form.


Letter to a Kashmiri Friend

If it has been months since I called
to ask how you are, how things
are, it is because what can you say

except your people are choking
Last year, I sent medicines
for your father, as if they would help

me say these pellets, they are not
who I am; this government, I'm sorry.

Your baby boy is growing up too close

to stones and bullet-holes. I want for him
simpler frustrations: that his tears will be
for a difficult exam or, older, for a crush

who does not crush back. Not for his city
constantly collapsing around him. You
say often how tired you are of breaking

things. I read of broken skulls in colleges
and wish I had come, as promised,
for your wedding in a city besieged

by water (did it feel like an added betrayal,
this friend who could not for three days
bear your life of three decades?). I think

often of our shared coffee under the tricolor,
your stories of black flags and burning saffron,
how different your songs of freedom were

from mine. I want songs for your baby boy,
proud laughters, hands that have no need
for stones or angers, the ability to walk

unharmed to the corner store. But all
I can offer are poems across barbed wire.
This is why I haven't called lately. I'm sorry.


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