His ashes could only have spread so far,
yet there was a film of white-gray dust that lay upon
the sitting room furniture.
After his death, my family pulled
on our woven cloth until it unraveled
the fabric unspooled into a tangle
of knots, twisting but too entangled
to get free. The thread eventually broke.
When I stepped on the smudged carpet
the thin layer rearranged itself around
my slipper. This temporary stasis made it impossible
to move, for fear of rearranging something vital,
dislodging a ghost that might remain there still.
my mother has a scar on her foot,
where she had to get stitches
after a teacup fell on it and shattered.
i have a sickle-shaped burn
on my forearm, marking the spot
where i burned myself
when making chai for the first time.
Yah chot nahin karata hai, i said, it doesn’t hurt,
though it had hurt a lot
before the swelling had gone down.
Anagha Khandelwal: "I'm a junior at Jericho High School and a writer, scientist, reader, and activist. I have written for the Great Neck Record, a local newspaper, and literary magazines: Pegasus and Exit 33. I have also written several peices for Jericho, New York's environmental blog."