A Day Without Us Immigrants

Ranjani Murali

Before unwaking, we unslept the creases
on sheets, unmade the coffee in osmosis
from filter to thermos, unskyped our siblings
in Brunei or Würzburg, unraveled the baby
swaddle. In the museum around the corner,

the chapped-lip visitors unview the bleakness
of a verdant oilscape. My favorite color is chartreuse.
There is a sculptor who unremembers his
hands greening a tree-shaped deity. I’d prefer
to unobjectify these gestures on a news website,

where a black screen uncovers this ruse-making.
We are uncamping across the vast terrain
of state parks, and national forests, the post
office where the baby’s passport picture was
unsnapped. The sweetest crooked smile,

the lady unexclaimed. Unmade yogurt, zatar,
mole, the works. We attempt to unlunch,
garnish the baby spinach with untalked-about
theater premieres, pediatrician’s bills. The baby
uncries himself to sleep. Somewhere close, unattending

school is an option for a third-grader, who
unwanders the halls during recess, unclutching
his mother’s admonition to work hard during art class today.
There are paintings everywhere and uneaten
school lunches. He uncolors the tree-man he

could have undrawn, but pauses, facing me at
an intersection, where we have uncrossed paths.
We have unarrived to America.

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