Reminders on the morning after:
A mala of jasmine flowers,
a mound of red silk which had
enveloped me whole.
A large palm plant, watered with
soda, empty Coke bottles swimming
in the flooded pot. A large house, flooded.
A reunion reminiscent of drowning.
A circle of lawn chairs, where
the men had gathered, eating naan by
the tear-fuls. The boy had sat intently
all night, trying to claim manhood early.
A tousled bed –
from the gaggle of wives, who’d
piled on top, a plethora of jokes I was either
too young or too American for.
A gift, a book on Swami Vivekananda
who shared my birthday,
a winning smile from the boy,
And a string: a donkey piñata,
slung from a broken chandelier.
Subject to sharp taps of broom handles,
from six-foot-tall uncles.
It took the beatings gracefully–