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Street Dog Dreams: Rashbehari Avenue

Neelanjana Banerjee

Is he riding shotgun in an auto-rickshaw, his scarred ears
flapping in the diesel dust? Tearing a goat carcass down from
the stalls near Kalighat Temple? Chasing the overfed golden retriever
with the hand-knitted sweater around Rabindra Sarobar Lake?
Or does he only dream of rutting, his jaws clamped around her neck?

Perhaps, in the dream, the dog climbs a neem tree only to
see his mother has turned into a crow perched in a nest made of
chicken bones. She cocks her head, before batting at him
with long black fingers. He falls and falls and falls:

then lands with a start on the cracked hot cement,
his mouth dry as sand.

Neelanjana Banerjee_author photo

Neelanjana Banerjee‘s fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, PANK Magazine, The Rumpus, World Literature Today, the Literary Review, and more. She is a co-editor of Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry (University of Arkansas Press, 2010). She is currently based in Los Angeles, where she is the managing editor of Kaya Press, an assistant editor with the Los Angeles Review of Books, and teaches writing to young people and adults through artworxLA and Writing Workshops Los Angeles.

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