Kaali guides me to shavasana

it is in our nature                    to survive

gasoline-and-matchstick headache

I lie down                                   a posing

corpse                             her voice surfs

my ears                                         guides

I close my eye                let my tongue

fall back                                     in throat

palms                                 welcome sky

feel the rising                               resting

of belly                        behind her voice

recorded river                           and rain

I think of a lover                           a book

our mother                                         ash

until Kaali speaks again           in lilacs

beckons me back                   to breath

within us           all the water of mercy

for this burning                              world

witness how easy                       to heal

it is in our nature                    to survive

                           we have lived through

wars            famine             pandemics

kneel before all                    the flames

hold the sun                        in your skin

over her voice         I hear Dida groan

in the other                                     room

death is not a disease        but a door

everything      a portrait      of death a

window                     stars trees clouds

the rain as well                    as the river

all nearing               a lone destination

I imagine                            all the doors

Dida has opened                         to find

behind them                           a woman

fragmented          as scattered pollen

KARAN KAPOOR is an MFA candidate at Virginia Tech. They have been awarded or placed for the James Hearst Poetry Prize, Frontier Global Poetry Prize,and Bellevue Literary Review Prize. A finalist for the Tusculum Review and Iron Horse Literary Review chapbook prizes, their poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in AGNI, Shenandoah, Colorado Review, Cincinnati Review, North American Review, and elsewhere. Their fiction is forthcoming in JOYLAND and the other side of hope. Their translations have appeared in The Offing and The Los Angeles Review. They are the Editor-in-Chief of ONLY POEMS.

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