I am whittled down to eight years old: all shaky hands and
fingers stunned numb. There’s a muted street & a house
hiding behind a lamp. The gutter overflows with pre-dawn light and
the manhole is a wound cauterized, awful in the way it droops.
A bedroom lies dismantled. I rest a hand against its underbelly,
learning how a house moulders. My parents are cluttered, scuttling
around an orphaned home. This place looks like the still life of a fruit
covered in soot, hijacked & rotting in the palms of our hands.
A year passes. And still, there is an awful light in my
mother’s eyes when she looks at the sky. It is different.
I know her fears intimately: contorted & swarming.
Ten years later, a pheasant couches me, in a bland sketch of
sakura trees. Cherry blossoms scale the mountains of my childhood.
I am looking through a window & seeing my parents dappled
with moonlight. Distance is coiled in the strands of our hair.
I reverberate with antiquity;
& each place is a second chance I will not miss.
Rachana Hegde collects words and other oddities. Her poetry has been published in Alexandria Quarterly, Moonsick Magazine, and Hypertrophic Literary. You can find her reading, drowsy-eyed, or at www.rachanahegde.weebly.com.