It’s going home to Jaffna if you’re young, Tamil and male and not automatically being snatched by either army. Maybe. For a moment.
It’s white vans.
she asked the emissaries, “How much
for a day’s toil?” They carried us away to a dock
and locked us down. Paid in irons, we tore our throats…
Not all men are tone deaf unable to hear the call
of hunger. Body, bosom, bare hips, needless to say
bare feet. She cannot afford the luxury of sleep.
the Punjabi slips
against my teeth, weeps
when I stumble
at its edges: arches
and whorls I cannot read.
embalming mangoes in mulled mustard oil, she tells me
the best of the season must live longer. So each April
she carefully preserves. Pickles in glass jar churning…
All these children with their dark glossy hair;
They sail on in their small shoes.
They are floating upward almost…